• Olly Jordan

Chapter 54 - ArchieVerse - Riverdale - Character Icons - 2018/19

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

I wanted to add some additional smaller studies to accompany the main characters if they were displayed in an exhibition space. All 7 of these paintings are A4 in size on 300gsm Watercolour Paper and each link to storyline themes or imagery associated with the 7 characters I was going to paint.

'The Athlete' - American Football - Archie Andrews

I wanted to create a study of an American Football as Archie's supporting artwork because alot of his storyline in season one is about how he is torn between being a footballer or try and pursue a music career. Painting the football its self was unusual as I had no idea how to create the texture of the ball, however, I achieved a likeness by dabbing the paintbrush to create a pointillist effect. I do not think that it is the most successful for this smaller collection, but it does the job I suppose. There is only so much I could experiment before needing to move on.

'Pink Perfection' - Pink Lipstick - Betty Cooper

Betty was a hard one to think of an object that represents her image, except her ponytail, but I thought that would make a very strange looking artwork, just a ponytail of hair without Betty's face. I decided to go with pink lipstick for Betty's supporting artwork because makeup is something that is used within her character to portray different sides of her character. When Betty starts to rebel against her mum and do her own thing in season 1, she decides to wear a red lipstick as a way of appearing more attractive to boys and makes her feel powerful, however, her mum wipes it off her lips and says that Betty in more 'pink perfection', implying that she needs to stay innocent and focus on her school work achieving perfection. This defiance and empowerment idea is something that continues throughout the rest of Betty's storyline throughout the show over a few seasons.

'Mija' - Pearl - Veronica Lodge

Unlike Betty, when it came to thinking of an object that represents her character and story, Veronica was very easy. Veronica's relationship with her father has been the overarching theme of her storyline since season 1, when her father wasn't even an on-screen character, to episodes being played out now in season 4. The pearl is part of a necklace that her father gifts Veronica, however, he shows his love for his daughter by buying her gifts rather than by spending time with her. The pearl necklace represents her father's possession and hold over Veronica, much like Betty's storyline over the series, Veronica does not want to become her parent and begins to see how bad of a person he is. By taking the pearl necklace away from Veronica, she becomes her own person, rather than just her father's daughter.

'Southside Serpent' - South Side Serpent Logo - Jughead Jones

Much like the rest of the teens in Riverdale, Jughead is no exception to trying to avoid his families legacy and create his own path. The Southside Serpents are a gang in Riverdale that have a bad reputation, Jughead's father is the gang's leader, or rather, 'The Serpent King'. Jughead does not have a good relationship with his father in the beginning of the series, but much like any monarchy, when the king has fallen, the responsibility to rule falls to the next in line, and that is Jughead. Becoming a serpent king and how he gets closer to the darkness and becoming his father, is a storyline that carries over much of Jughead's storyline throughout the series, so I wanted to create artwork based on his overarching story.

'Iconic Spider Brooch' - Spider Brooch - Cheryl Blossom

Cheryl wears her iconic spider brooch with most of her outfits so it was pretty easy to pick an object to accompany her portrait. This is possibly my favourite piece from this smaller collection, the metallic shine on the spider legs comes across really nicely through the textures and the high contrast in colours.

''Pride' - LGBTQ+ Love - Kevin Keller

Kevin was a hard one to find an object that represents his character because his main personality traits are his sense of humour and his sexuality, he doesn't really have a set accessory as part of his style like the other characters. Seeing as Kevin is a character that is known for being 'the gay best friend', it made sense to embrace that and create artwork that is based on the LGBTQ+ flag.

'Josie and The Pussycats' - Microphone - Jose McCoy

Josie is the lead singer of her group, 'Josie and the Pussycats', so I wanted to create a painting that included the pussycats imagery as well as the microphone she sings into. The headband with cheetah print is an accessory that the girls in the group where as part of their signature look. The microphone is a vintage one from the 50s because the show is set in current day but inspired by the 50s to pay homage to the era where the Archie Comics first started.

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