• Olly Jordan

Chapter 92 - The Lion King - Be Prepared For The Villains - 2020

Scar - A3 on 300gsm Watercolour Paper. Shenzei, Kamari, Azizi - A3 on 300gsm Watercolour Paper

Here are the two paintings that depict the villains of The Lion King. As discussed on my first blog post about The Lion King, I wanted to have the heroes and villains to have a different colour for the mark making in the background as a way to distinguish between who is good and bad, the colour palettes are also reflected within the film, dark blues skies are used alot when the villains are on screen, then bright oranges are used for the heroes.

I started with the three hyenas - Shenzei, Kamari, Azizi. This was the first time I was working with not just two subjects on a portrait, but three! I was worried that they wouldn't have enough details in them because they are obviously alot smaller in scale than what I am used to working with so that they can all fit on the page, but I think that I managed to do a good job. It took me a while to acknowledge that I had done a good job however, like maybe a couple weeks actually, because I could just see that they are brown and ugly. That is what hyenas are though, they are meant to look scruffy, this scruffiness is something that I am not used to working with so it took my head a while to see that I had done a good job at replicating the hyenas' distinct look. As always, when I am so close to the work and see it progress, I do sometimes detach from what the subject actually is and focus more on the painting and it's mark making, which is why sometimes I don't see whether I have done a good job at capturing the character or not. I am happy with these three overall though, The Lion King fans will know which hyena is which because of the expressions on their faces, and that means I have done my job nicely of capturing the characters likeness.

Next was Scar. I did actually dull his tones down ever so slightly as that helped go with the good vs evil thing I had going on with the colour palettes of the backgrounds. I started with his body, then the mane, then finished it with the face, this was the complete opposite of my usual painting process so that was a bit unusual for me, but I had to work in that way so I could get the mane looking natural over the top of the fur on the body. Working with animals is always so different to working with humans because you have to take extra special care and pay closer attention to the muscles and structure of the animal. With humans, they are usually pretty much covered with clothes which cover and it is just the neck, arms or chest you have to worry about, whereas this is a whole body covered in short hairs so a slight inaccuracy can suddenly make your animal look like it has a completely different body type than it actually does. Following on from the hyenas however, I tried to make Scar's mane and fur in general a bit scruffier and duller than I am used to doing as he is quite an unhealthy looking lion, that is part of his character, so giving him a mane with a high glossy finish like I usually do in my portraits would be out of character. I did enjoy this piece and it allowed me to see how Simba could potentially turn out as a lion being painted in my style.

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