Friday, April 23, 2010

Ophelia

As I have mentioned previously, here and here, I have been working on an image of the drowned Ophelia from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Well it is finished:
As you can see, I used linocut printmaking to create the lilypad collage elements and then painted in the figure and the water with oil. I was a little intimidated about taking on this project because I had never painted anything submerged in water before and I was nervous about the challenges of making the water look good. I used a lot of transparent painting for the water, and in the end I was pleased with the results.
An interesting but unanticipated benefit: the linseed oil that I used to paint the water transparently is highly reflective. I was worried that that might make the piece difficult to photograph, but actually, the small areas of glare that turned up in the photograph look good. They make it look extra watery.
Also, as to the design, there was a question of orientation. Originally I had intended for it to be shown portrait layout, with the figure lying vertically in the picture plane. like this:
However, as the painting was almost done, I happened to have it stored on its side up against a wall in my room while I worked on another project, and I saw it out of the corner of my eye and it struck me that it works better as a horizontal. Since it is supposed to be a view from above, there was no reason why I couldn't hang it any direction I pleased, so I consulted with Gil Ashby and some of my classmates and decided to just go ahead and change the orientation of the image.

Finally, thanks again to my champion model, Maria Sylwesterzak, for agreeing to let me wrap her in a toga and dunk her underwater in a bathtub.

5 comments:

Vaughan Ling said...

Very cool. I like it better vertical

A.E. Kieren said...

aw ratz

Joe said...

Don't listen to the foolio. It's cooler horz.

A.E. Kieren said...

gee shanks

M. Mosher said...

the horizontal for sure, it's all about the lily pads.