Chapter 38 - Teen Choice - Painting Chris Evans - Uni 3rd Year 2017/18
Updated: Jun 22, 2020
Chris Evans - 54 hours, 76x56cm acrylic painting on 425gsm Bockington Watercolour Paper
Here are some developmental photos that I took while creating the painting of Chris Evans. Each photo is taken at the end of a 7/8 hour sitting, knowing this allows me to understand what areas of the portrait take the longest. It is clear that I managed to create the suit in around 10 hours as you can see how the whole body has suddenly appeared into the photos.
The painting itself took a lot longer than I was expecting, perhaps an additional 10 hours more than I was expecting actually, but I think this is my best portrait that I have painted to date. Having worked with Chris Evans’ face before and not feeling as though I caught his likeness as well as I have with others like Lili Reinhart or Belle for example, I think I added extra pressure on myself to make sure that this time, the portrait looks undeniably like Chris Evans, I am pleased to say that I am very happy with the result.
I learned quite a lot while creating this painting, especially when it came to painting hair. The eyebrows were created in a similar way to in a style I started to paint them with Lili Reinhart's portrait: painting a skin tone base, then a brown wash over that for where there is darker hairs, then layering over the top with dark colouring pencils. The use of pencils helps to add the sharpness and layering that painting simply can’t because paint is not consistent enough.
I also got to familiarise myself with how to paint beards again too. This is done with a very similar process, with skin tones, then dark tones and penciling. However, because this was the thickest beard I had to work with at the time, I had to work it in a similar way to how I paint hair - so I had to apply a thin light wash over the top of the pencil work to help give the impression of a thick and healthy beard.
In terms of painting the hair, this was a new challenge for me to work with, because in most male portraits before, the hair is short and fluffy, or has a natural looking finish, this was the first time I have had to try and recreate a slicked look. The difference between slicked hair and fluffy is the definition and precision of the hair groupings, when the hair is fluffy, you can get away with making it up a little bit whereas with slicked hair, the hair is perfectly positioned with not a hair out of place, so painting that was a little daunting at first, but it was quite alright once I got used to it. I just had to paint in smaller clumps than what I usually would.
Overall, I am really happy with how I have captured Chris Evans and you can see a very clear improvement from even a piece just 4 months before of Lili Reinhart in the 'Belle' Perfume project. It is good to see that my skills and attention to detail is constantly improving and therefore setting my standard of work higher with each piece.
Looking back at this piece now 2 years later, I can see a few ways that my process has changed and how I would repaint parts of this piece to help improve the likeness. I would start off with the hairline, looking at it now, it looks almost cartoonish, there aren't natural individual hairs to build up the hairline. Just a year later in the Riverdale series, I would say that Jughead Jones' hairline could be similar to Chris Evans' in that it doesn't have a solid straight line of a hairline because of the way that it is styled, but with Jughead's painting it does look natural as there is a build up of individual hairs making up a clump of hair.
I can remember very clearly how much I struggled with painting the beard, but I think now I would feel slightly more confident with painting the beard. There is also something else that is a little off about Chris' face, I still can't quite place what it is, but something in the eyes/cheeks/nose area.
I am not considering revisiting this painting anytime soon like I have revisited paintings like Belle, Archie Andrews and Sabrina Spellman, but this is just a discussion about how I would change the painting with the skills that I have developed since this painting in 2018. I reworked them because they are ones that are pieces of work I would consider part of a strong series I would put in my portfolio, so I wanted them to be of a similar standard of the other paintings within their collection, eg. Belle looking stylistically the same as The Beast, Archie Andrews' likeness being as strong as the other Riverdale characters especially because he is the main character and largest on my poster design, then Sabrina Spellman as she is part of my Archieverse Collection (the overarching and biggest collection I have and would love to exhibit).