This is one of my favourite moments in the Fellowship of the Ring, just when Saruman turns and he reveals himself to be the villain in the story. I have a soft spot for Shakespearean actors. The know how to reveal emotion, release words and with a glance, completely undo the audience. I think this is why you see the same handful of actors really shine. Christopher Lee, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberatch. All of them are completely a cut above and know how to work the audience.
Lord of The Rings is both a joy to watch and difficult for me to watch. Frodo’s very innocence is stolen away over the course of the movies and at the end, he is returned but broken. The shine completely gone. He did what he had to do, but the cost was great.
Saruman played such a huge role in that cost. And he did so methodically, confidently and evilly.
Starting on black canvas, I quickly chalked in the portrait. I knew the exact scene I wanted to do and cropped it so that Saruman was both evil and powerful. The look in his eyes, disdain.
A lot of this painting was a buildup of colour. Unlike most of my paintings on black, there was no true underpainting. The colours flowed well and true and it became a matter of layering highlights and shadows to create form and depth.
One of the things that take a painting from amateur to professional, is where the artist stops. I could have stopped the painting at the above point. It would have be ok. Fine even. But if you take a look below, the refining of the shapes pops it into a whole new level.
Going back to define the hair and beard really worked too. Hair is such a bitchy thing to paint; too much detail and it looks fake. Not enough and it becomes something else. There’s a balance of hinting or implying each hair without actually painting them. I’ve spent a long time studying other artists’ techniques to get this right. Hair used to always make me stumble.
And finally, Captain Evil himself is done.
Acrylic on canvas
Between now and Dec 1, I have 30 paintings in the works. I got requests for Hawkeye, SG1, Chewbacca, Ten, Nine, Gabriel from SPN and Harry Potter. Plus I’m thinking some X-Files, more SPN and more Avengers.
Know why I’m all about 30 more paintings? I’m going to be in Toronto on December 5th! You can find out more here http://comicontoronto.com/holidayshow/
If you want a commission especially for Christmas gifting, I am still taking commissions. I paint a lot and live for painting. Please do feel free to message me and let’s talk. If you want prints, take into account the time it takes for mail to arrive. I strongly suggest any print purchases that require mailing happen by Dec 1.