Monday, August 10, 2009

Elizabeth Dismount

This is after going back in and taking care of that last 20% of work on the face. It’s really about defining edges and checking my value schemes. Most of this work is done by placing the image across the room, or under a heavy squint.

Portraits and likenesses are always a tricky prospect. I find that most failures come from trying too hard to reproduce one's reference. A photo can only portray how something looks, and that is hardly the measure of a person. Looking back, I find that I didn't really understand portraiture until I spent some time doing caricatures. It was a real eye-opener to understand it was possible to capture a person’s “likeness” without accurately rendering their features. Now I'm more concerned with the fidelity, or the truth of a thing.

This piece felt good all the way through. The way spending a day with Elizabeth Montgomery should be. The thing I'm most pleased with is not that it looks like her, I had lots of good reference so that wasn't very difficult, but it feels like her.


samax said...

great piece and great insight!
see you in Dallas!

Scott said...

Dude. This is crazy gorgeous, even for you. My suggestion for your trick: Christina Hendricks, from Firefly and Madmen. All that red hair? SO up your alley.

(Full disclosure: actually, this suggestion comes from someone else here at work, but she was too shy to actually post it. So.)

Roger said...

Man, I wish I were able to be at DragonCon this year. I would love to see her in person and maybe persuade you to part with her.

But, I have an even better suggestion for someone aside from Christina Hendricks (Who I think is dead sexy). Why not do a portrait of Samantha's sister, Serena? Two extremes on twins, one a strawberry blond and the other with black hair. And two very different temperaments.

Aldo Henrique said...


Hanque aka Daryn Moore said...

This is golden, man.

Smarry said...

This is crazy gorgeous, even for you.

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Lan Pitts said...


Roger Adams said...

Beautiful piece! Thanks for posting so much information with your posts. It's a treasure trove of knowledge.

Jason said...
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Francis Vallejo said...

looks incredible Brian! thanks for the inspiration!

foresthouse said...

Hi Brian! Nathan Massengill's friend Emily from Baltimore Comic Con here! Hopefully you vaguely remember me. :)

I know it's been a couple of months since we met, but I'm glad I finally remembered to check out your blog - I love what you are posting here about the process of how you work! And the painting of Sam/Elizabeth came out so well - I completely agree with what you said about trying to get the likeness/spirit of the person instead of trying to do a perfect reproduction of every detail.

Anyway, I will definitely include a link to your blog in my next blog post about awesome things, because this? Is awesome. :) All the best, and happy holidays!