The Process of a Painting: Inside the Artist’s Studio – I’m Over It

Monday, October 14th, 2013


The Process of a Painting: Inside the Artist’s Studio

Painting Title: “I’m Over It”
From the Series: Silent Women: 1920s Film Stars

c. 1925: Louise Brooks

I started the painting process by looking for inspirational reference photos. This is a photograph of 1920s film star Louise Brooks. She was a strong woman who fought with Hollywood producers about adding her voice to a silent movie and was eventually blacklisted from Hollywood. I wanted to play with the idea of lightness and fun surrounding her protesting spirit. The title of the painting is “I’m Over It.”


I covered the 16 x 20 inch canvas with gray gesso to primer the surface. I love the gray color and played with it for the flesh color of most of the paintings in this series. I wanted to keep an aspect of the black and white films the actresses were famous for acting in. I did a basic outline based on the photograph using charcoal. I chose charcoal because it gives a gritty and sandy effect when it mixes with the paints for added texture. I didn’t draw her hands that were in the photograph because I wanted her to be more hunched over in annoyance.


I started by painting the background. I wanted it to look fun and light. I used pastel colors of pinks and yellows with my acrylic paints. I created lines in the background to look like fireworks exploding around her for a joyous energy.


I then did her hair. I used black and highlighted it with grays and white. I also added in some reddish brown so that it would compliment her eye make-up. I made the ends of her hair move over her cheeks to create two fierce points. I thought they would give her more of an attitude.


I then did her make-up and her eyes. I wanted her make-up to stand out in color over her gray scale skin because I love that effect. I wanted the browns of her eye shadow and the maroon of her lips to clash with the pastel background, lights versus darks.


This is the final version where I used gray scale to add in the shadows of her skin. I added a lot of texture to her forehead and eyebrows to show the look of contempt. I also added a lot of shadowing and expression around her mouth to make her look like she is frowning slightly.

This painting is for sale for $200.00, click for more information on the painting, see close-up images, and to buy it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Susan Shiney Fine Art -