Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Large Purple Queen - in progress

I have a wonderful job to paint Deborah, the amazing actress who portrays Queen Elizabeth I at nearly all the Northern Cali Renaissance Faires. I took photo reference at Folsom, which I have just gotten to and began to digest. A lot of digesting involved here. What an enormous challenge this portrait is and will be. She is wearing a gold gauze veil which will need to be re-interpreted on the black background (reference has a brown wood background), as well as a whole lot o' purple velvet encrusted with jewels and pearls. Myriad jewels and pearls, and these are the elements that will define the bodice and separate it from the sleeves. I am heightening the highlights of the purple velvet, to give it more form and definition, and I had to skinny poor Elizabeth up a little, as was absolutely customary and expected in the actual Elizabeth's portraits! Primarily I did this because the angle at which Deb was sitting, and the angle from which I took the picture, made the bodice look much larger than it actually is. She also has hanging sleeves that in this sitting position sortof just meld with the bodice. I trimmed off the right side, sitting her up a little straighter, and I will need to reinterpret the pearls, jewels, and piccadills on that side. I may also lower the neckline, again because of the angle of the picture. It seems like it needs to be lower.

So much work to do on this one. It will be quite some time before the lay-in phase is complete and I can begin rendering.

Edit: I just realized it looks like she is giving us a thumbs up! She is holding a long strand of pearls, actually, but I may attempt to make her hand look a little more graceful and posed in the finished painting, lol.