Conveying character

For this exercise I am going to use an actress, Elizabeth Taylor, but not from a classic photo of her, tempting as it is, but I am going to try and take a frame from a film in the manner of Luc Tuymans, whose work I have looked at on the recommendation of my tutor. I was thinking either ‘The shew’ or Virginia Woolf’ would through up some good facial expressions! Also, she is brunette, and I have been painting too many blondes…..

I have found a good clip from Youtube of her in ‘The taming of the shrew’, here and have been sketching and painting to try out some ideas.

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I managed to copy an image that I wanted and did a sketch of her face to try and capture a likeness and expression.  In the scene is she is wild and  angry and is shouting, leaning out of a window and looking down. I have to show the wildness in her eyes and the displeasure in her mouth.image2 (55)

I decided on using carnation pink as a ground, and then I added a little red and started to sketch in her face, using this sketch above, and the window behind her. I then filled in the sky to the left using ultramarine and white mixed. image3 (14)

Today I painted for well over 2 hours. It is very difficult to describe skin tone. And noses! I thought I had ‘cracked’ noses on D1 but painting them is proving difficult. I think also it is difficult because the image from the film is not sharp. I had not thought of this. I have a lot more to do but will break for now.

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Today I finished. I painted for 2 more hours roughly. I went over the nose again and the skin tones, and I used a sponge to try and blend the tones together. I felt this worked quite well.I kept the background simple.

I think I have captured a likeness of Taylor, and some of the wildness and temper of the scene. My mistake was that the film clip was not too clear very work from.  I think there is something cartoonish about this image, not sure if this a good thing or not! Taylor from the shrew


Author: Wendy Kate

Happily sharing my life in Spain with a tall bearded man from Dorset.

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