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A Caricature of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder
After seeing my Johnny Cash painting on Facebook, an old friend and huge Pearl Jam fan commissioned a similar caricature treatment for rock icon Eddie Vedder. Still riding high on the success of my Johnny Cash, I enthusiastically accepted this assignment.

Why I Paint
I have always loved to paint. When I was a sophomore at Tyler School of Art, I seriously considered a career as a painter. It wasn’t until I had to declare a major did I decide to focus on Illustration and Graphic Design. The thought of living the lackadaisical painter lifestyle, painting only when inspired, and selling my work for millions was great in theory; but when the rational side of my brain intervened and reminded me of the importance of health benefits and paychecks, painting became a terrifying lifestyle choice.

Since that decisive day in 2002, I only paint recreationally. I am what Paul Rand calls a “Sunday Painter”. I find true happiness when applying paint to canvas, and feel that it is only during this time that I am in complete control of my life. I control every decision, every choice, every color.

My painting style reached a personal high when I completed my Johnny Cash Caricature Painting. It was my first time as a Sunday Painter that I was completely satisfied with a piece of fine art that I created. I believe this is because it was the first time I married the the four elements of art that I enjoy the most; caricature, painting, design and music.

The Johnny Cash caricature painting happened almost overnight and the buzz surrounding the release of the painting was something I have never seen before. It was fantastic and I wanted more.

The Preliminary Sketches
I’ll be honest—doing a caricature of someone that doesn’t have any embarrassing features is a tremendous challenge. The people I loathe to draw are really pretty girls, and normal-looking guys. Eddie Vedder is a normal looking guy—especially in the 1992 TEN days. Just another good-looking front man in a grunge band.

The original Rolling Stone Cover photo I used to capture the likeness of Eddie Vedder for this caricature painting.

To prepare, I searched online for pictures, watched the movie PJ20 (excellent movie—I highly suggest you check it out), and broke out my old Pearl Jam CD’s for reference material. It was difficult—and I’m not going to embarrass myself by posting all those horrific sketches—but I was eventually satisfied with how I captured Eddie’s likeness.

The final sketch incorporates many of Vedder’s trademark attributes such as his knee-high hunting socks, Doc Martens, and cargo shorts.

It has been over a decade since I last listened to a full Pearl Jam CD, but Gary’s commission and the Pearl Jam Twenty movie inspired me to blow the dust off TEN and take a nice trip back to when life was much simpler.

Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder caricature portrait

Prints of this piece are available: Email Chris for more info and current pricing.

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