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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK-5TeQAeM8 and have been sketching and painting to try out some ideas.
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.
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.
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.
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!