So I moved on the Hermione Granger for another painting and learned a lot more as I worked on this painting. I really layered the paint strokes more fully on her face and hand. I am striving for a more truly oil painted look. The more I work on these the more my inner John Singer Sargent seems to come out. I started with the graphic flat color portraits from last year and have migrated toward this buttery painted look and I am having a lot of fun with the media.
This will be number two in a series featuring Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron.
Hermione's face was re-worked maybe 5 times before I was happy with the result. There are about 8 to 10 layers of paint here. The challenge was to keep the painting fresh and lively without making her look older or more angry. My wife Louise thinks she looks "fierce," which is what I was after. I discovered a cool way to simulate the effect of glazing using layer settings in Photoshop. It really added depth to the shadow side of her face to layer red and green tints over the hair and some of the skin. I took a play out of the portrait painter's classical approach here and it worked.
I had to put Bellatrix Lestrange in this montage. She is such a great subject and makes an excellent counterpoint for Hermione.
Hermione's wand had to be accurate with sharper details in this painting, so I found a number of collector's items online for reference. There is a crved ivy leaf pattern that is very distinct. I wantd the wood to have that slightly polished quality from being held many times. I also wanted it have a magical ethereal quality as though magic was about to come right out of the wood.