Pencil Portraits from the Past

Since I had the scanner out, it seemed a good time to scan these four works before I got them back up on the wall. They represent my appreciation of “costume roles”, mainly because the portraits are fun to draw then. But it does require finding a satisfactory reference image to work from.

These are done free-hand, not by tracing with a lightbox. Once upon a time it would never have occured to me that I would need to make that declaration. Yes, kiddies, this is all hand-eye-coordination. It takes practice. 😀

Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth I

This is Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth I in the British television series Elizabeth R. I have always had a fascination with Queen Elizabeth, and Jackson remains my favorite actress when it comes to dramatic portraits of her. This drawing was the first “pencil portrait” I had attempted.

Richard Chamberlain as the Count

Richard Chamberlain as the Count in a television adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo. The particular photo I worked from looked very striking and it invited me to attempt the portrait. I’ve always been fond of this one.

Richard Chamberlain as Louis XiV

Chamberlain again as Louis XIV (or is it his twin?) in a television adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask. Rendering the lace was part of the fun of this portrait. (There were also some technical glitches when I scanned this, because my scanner, in its arcane wisdom rendered the image rotated somewhat — I suppose in order to get the whole oval. But righting the image to the vertical was a bother, and I still didn’t get it perfectly back on its correct axis. Sorry) Anyway, capturing the flavor amused me. (Even though, strictly speaking, Chamberlain is far too tall to be Louis, who was notoriously short.)

Toshiro Mifune as Toranaga

Toshiro Mifune as Lord Toranaga in the mini-series Shogun. He has such an interesting face, it was fun to try and catch that. Also there was the challenge of getting the impression of the silk fabrics. I did skimp out on the details of the hawk, however. Partly because, as I recall, the image I was working from didn’t clearly capture the look of the feathers. Still, I like this.

Anyway, there they are. I’ll shortly be scanning the Musketeers from the Richard Lester film version of The Three Musketeers (yes, that will make three portraits of Richard Chamberlain). There are some others I have done, but I’m not sure where the originals are. As I find them, I will scan them.

About Sarah

Now residing in Las Vegas, I was born in Michigan and moved to Texas when 16. After getting my Masters degree in English, I moved to Hollywood, because of the high demand for Medievalists (NOT!). As a freelance writer and editor, I found Nevada offers better conditions for the wallet. I love writing all sorts of things, and occasionally also create some artwork.
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