• Olly Jordan

Chapter 80 - ArchieVerse - Katy Keene - The Stylish New Yorker - 2019

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

LUCY HALE - 'Katy Keene' - 58 hours, 76x56cm acrylic painting on 425gsm Bockington Watercolour Paper

This painting is one that has taken the longest amount of time to create, passing the Cheryl Blossom by 5 hours as she was the painting that had previously taken the longest amount of time. I think it was the body that clocked up the hours, there was alot more fabric to deal with as well as two hands. I am very happy with the finished artwork of Katy Keene and as always, I have been surprised at how nicely she has turned out.

The background is very similar but uses a slightly different process to how I usually do my mark making for the background. I wanted Katy Keene to have a nice blend of pinks and yellows/oranges as that would tie back in with the branding colour palette of the TV show. Unlike the mark making of my other portraits within the ArchieVerse Collection, Katy Keene has a softer blend of mark making, this is because the show has a different vibe to it and I wanted the mark making to reflect that. As discussed in other blog posts about the Katy Keene series of artwork, the TV show wasn't actually released at this point, so I only had a 3 minute trailer, promotion poster material and interview discussions about the show to base my project on, however, the show seemed to be alot more upbeat and fun in comparison to the darker themes explored within Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Capturing Lucy Hale's likeness as Katy Keene was something that I struggled with a little bit to be honest. She has been on screen for many years in other shows that I watch and because she is still young, she has literally grown up on screen so her face and hair has changed alot over the years. Part of me was unsure of whether I was creating a good likeness of Lucy Hale from the modern photo reference I was using because when I would think of her as a person, I would view her the way she was around 5 years beforehand with longer hair and different makeup. I did end up capturing her likeness quite nicely in the end, it just too me a long time to get past what I thought Lucy looked like in my head, and just look at what I was seeing in the photo reference and work from that. Hands are something that I have not really had to work with before, so that took a fair amount of time and is probably why this painting is the one that has taken me longest to create. It was a challenge to paint the fingers as they are kind of like little sausages that join up to make a finger, that sounds bad that that was just how I had to think of how to paint the fingers, one section at a time. I am used to faces and hair at this point, but the hand is just a whole new territory for me, I enjoyed working on it as it meant I had to look alot more at the subject and how each crease is formed for example, rather than maybe being in autopilot mode like when I am painting clothing. I would be interested in working with more portraits that have hands in them in the future as that is just an addition challenge of capturing realism.

The clothing is also an area that managed to clock up a few more hours than the usual outfits within my portrait paintings, this is because red never sticks to the paper that well. I discussed it previously on my blog post about Cheryl Blossom, who also wears red and took along time to paint, but for some reason, red paint just struggles to stick to paper so I have to layer it up alot more than I usually would for other colours. I think I managed to do a better job of blended the colours than I did with Cheryl Blossom, this just comes with more experience I think.

Katy Keene is a high standard of painting just like the other paintings within the ArchieVerse Collection and other paintings within my portfolio. Getting the right balance of keeping stylistically consistent and also improving my skills is very important to keeping my portfolio looking like all the work within it has come from one person.

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