The Fifth Element – Leeloo Dallas Multipass
Last week, I did a sketch from one of my favorite movies, the original Karate Kid. I like how the drawing turned out, but the best byproduct of it may be ideas for more art. I made a list of favorite movies (Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, about a dozen others), and decided to draw something from each one of them. I don’t know if I’ll ultimately get to all of them, but given how I’m always searching for subjects, I probably will in time.
The first movie I decided to tackle is The Fifth Element. As with the others, this is a movie that I will watch pretty much any time I see it’s on television. If you aren’t familiar with it, The Fifth Element is basically a stylish, futuristic sci-fi/space movie. It’s noteworthy for its fun cast of characters, but also for uniquely appealing aesthetics and incredible music (in my opinion, anyway). I rarely buy movie soundtracks (I’m more likely to buy it for a video game than a movie), but I did buy this one. Here are some sample tracks:
And now to the characters, which are definitely a strong point. Actually, I think pretty much every character in this movie is well done, from the main folks all the way to the supporting cast. I wanted to do something featuring the big four – Korbin Dallas (Bruce Willis), Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker), and Zorg (Gary Oldman). That’s a challenging amount of people to get into one page while having room for detail. Not to mention the fact that none of the protagonists appear with Zorg in the movie, so I’d have to make something up. I’ve thought about this before, but planning for these characters made me wonder if it really is time to work on larger paper. I only ever use 9 x 12 sheets, but this could have been a good candidate for something bigger.
Ultimately, I decided to just split up the characters and do this in 3-4 separate drawings. The first one is Leeloo, which is pretty fitting. After all, she is the actual “fifth element” referenced in the title of the film. Her actual name is a long jumble of words meaning “supreme being,” but Bruce Willis just settled for the first couple of syllables in Leeloo. In the movie, she’s the key to defeating an evil planet, but has only recently been introduced to the modern world. She’s got some pretty funny fish out of water moments, one of which is what I based my sketch on:
I think “Leeloo Dallas Multipass” has cemented a place in niche pop culture, and is one of the more memorable lines from The Fifth Element. In much of the movie, Leeloo doesn’t understand English (interesting side note: the language she speaks was made up by the director, and Jovovich learned it and could have conversations with him in it). Her exclaiming “multipass” all over the airport was pretty funny, sort of like shouting “drivers license” every time someone asks you for I.D.
So, here’s how the drawing from that scene turned out:
I think this one was largely a success – I captured the character’s look, and it does resemble the actress as well. This is a good example of the occasional hazards of drawing around your kids though…and of eating/having food near your art space. Somehow, I got a big greasy blob of food right in the middle of the page! This happened fairly early in the process, and I almost abandoned it. Even though the paper is moderately thick, its integrity was somewhat compromised, and I was worried I’d rip a hole in it. Amazingly, after filling in her hair, I can’t even tell where the biggest greasy spot was.
What do I wish was different? As I mentioned, I would have liked to have more characters in it, so bigger paper would have been good. Also, I’m not sure about the perspective/sizing of her hand. I also could have used more detail in the faces on her multipass. And the shading on the multipass side of her face definitely should have been darker, which is a recurring issue for me…definitely something I need to work on, confidence with darker shadows. Although I like how it turned out, another fair criticism is that the scene is probably fairly cliche and predictable. This is a pretty common subject of fan art related to the movie.
So, that’s it for part one of The Fifth Element series. Not a bad start! The next post is going to be about Zorg, the heartless corporate titan portrayed so well by Gary Oldman. I actually did that one at the same time, so it’s already finished. I just need to finish the accompanying write-up. I have a third drawing planned featuring Korbin Dallas and Ruby Rhod, but I’m not sure if it will be my next one or not. It might be, but I’m thinking about jumping to a different subject, then coming back to The Fifth Element.
Note on the .gifs: Credit to media.giphy.com/media/PqfhuPS7Nex32/giphy.gif on the first one, media.giphy.com/media/dVneNbpJiD2AU/giphy.gif on the second.