• Olly Jordan

Chapter 67 - ArchieVerse - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - The Teenage Witch - 2019

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

KIERNAN SHIPKA - 'Sabrina Spellman' - 37 hours, 76x56cm acrylic painting on 425gsm Bockington Watercolour Paper

This painting is one that I returned to a few months later, just like I did with Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge and Belle. This piece was one that I did struggle with, and I think that it showed in the original 'finished' painting and that is why I returned to the painting to fix the many mistakes.

Original (2019) Final (2020)

When I returned to the painting recently, I actually ended up repainting basically every part of Sabrina's face, somehow in the original 'finished' painting, I managed to make all of Sabrina's facial features too small. The only part of Sabrina's face that I didn't rework was her eyes and forehead, and even then I reworked her hairline to add more stray hairs to it. I think that my original struggle was with the lighting and angle of the portrait, at this point I was used to flash lighting from the front and the person to be face on to the audience, however this piece was an over shoulder look and the lighting was from a different angle. I don't quite know how I managed to get the scale of everything so off, but I have sorted the painting out now and I am so glad that I did.

Despite all the changes I made to my painting of Sabrina and how I returned to change quite a few parts of the piece, everything else was surprisingly great to work with at the time of painting it. Working with a lace patterned dress was something I was originally worried about, but I just kept reminding myself of the black paisley suit in my painting of Chris Hemsworth, if I could pull that off, I can pull this off. I created the lace look by just using abstract mark making and dabbing the paint on in a thicker way, rather than trying to blend it. Then to create the subtle sheer looking fabric on Sabrina's arm, which obviously is the base for the dress, I watered down my brush and just added brush marks in a similar way to how I worked Jughead Jones' leather jacket.

The mark making for the background is one that is similar in style, but different in colour to the Riverdale series. This was an intentional decision because, at the the time I didn't know the name of the ArchieVerse Collection, but I knew that this painting was going to act like a spin-off series of work just like how the show is a spin-off from Riverdale on screen. Red is used alot within the branding of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina so it made sense to pick that colour for the background, I also added black to the mark making as that would add more tonal depth to the mark making, but also reflect how the show has darker themes within it. The choice to have similar mark making was also of course, so I could get to understand and create my own 'style' of working so I have consistency within my portfolio of work.

I feel like Sabrina is now just as strong as all the other portrait paintings in my portfolio. If I had left the painting of Sabrina the way it was, she would have stood out in an ArchieVerse Collection exhibition for the wrong reasons. Now that she has just as strong a likeness as the rest of the characters in the ArchieVerse Collection, I would be confident in the whole collection being exhibited and that they are all the same high standard. Looking through the rest of my portfolio as a whole and beyond the ArchieVerse Collection, I don't feel the need to rework anymore of my paintings as they all capture a likeness that I am happy with, so now I can just look to the future and try to get my work up on the walls and continue creating work like I have been doing.

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