• Olly Jordan

Chapter 57 - ArchieVerse - Riverdale - The Vixen Bombshell - 2018

Updated: May 25, 2020

MADELAINE PETSCH - 'Cheryl Blossom' - 53 hours, 76x56cm acrylic painting on 425gsm Bockington Watercolour Paper

Cheryl Blossom is the portrait that took the longest in the Riverdale series. Painting Cheryl's hair alone took 11 hours to create!

As a natural ginger, Cheryl is quite pale and this is something that I struggled to get my head around. Her face didn't have many tones to work with and without her hair to help darken the areas around her face I was worried that I wasn't giving her enough tone, but I just had to trust the process more and wait until her hair was painted to help put her face in place, if that makes sense. When painting this I also realised that the colour red sometimes struggles to stick to the paper, I can't quite describe it or think why it happens, but red paint just doesn't want to mix with the rest of my colours as nicely as my paint usually does. The hair, although it took a long time to create, I would say that it is the standout part of the painting. Working curl by curl, I just had to slowly work my way from the end of Cheryl's hair up to her roots so that the layering of the paint worked effectively. Styled hair like this is my favourite to work with, the shine and colour in her hair is so vibrant and has a high contrast and that is why I think it works so well.

This piece marks another painting where I feel like I made a step forward in creating a realistic recreation of painting hair. Although the struggles of working with hair is something I often revisit and ramble on about, it is something that I never felt confident in, but this piece made me realise, 'you are there! Stop doubting yourself, this looks like natural hair,' you can see the individual strands and how they have slightly different shades of ginger within it.

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