I can’t say that “Sex and the City” has ever been one of my favorite television shows. I’ve laughed at times – sometimes really hard – when I’ve stumbled across it, but it’s not anything I’ve ever gone out of my way to see. It’s hard for me to relate to characters who obsess over shoes and clothes. Though I can understand a good, healthy obsession with sex.
So I’m surprised at myself for painting a tribute to Sex and the City. The source of inspiration was a photo of a wig shop window taken by artist Karin Jurick, posted on her Different Strokes From Different Folks challenge. It’s a very cool image, with many stylized wig heads to choose from. My first thought was a take on the Rolling Stones “Some Girls” album cover, but then I noticed these four “girls” grouped together, and from that point on all I could see was Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda. (I had to look those names up on Wikipedia.) I searched the web for photos of the actresses, because the only face ingrained in my memory is Sarah Jessica Parker’s.
Here are some photos taken along the way. Please excuse the poor image quality and uneven lighting, as I was shooting in the studio at night.
This surface is a little unusual for me. It’s a piece of birch plywood I stained with a wash of orange acrylic, then sealed with several coats of Atelier Binder medium. I like this stuff, because it provides good adhesion for the paint, and dries crystal clear. Think of it as a clear primer. The way the paint feels when it glides onto this surface is wonderful – sort of buttery and silky at the same time.
The drawing was inked in roughly using a waterproof pen. I’m reminded once again that I should take more time to get the drawing right, because there were a few problems I could have avoided if I had.
The hair seemed like a good place to start establishing the characters. Kim Cattrall’s ‘do came from a red carpet photo rather than the TV series. For a wig, the height and Marilyn Monroe sweep seemed more appropriate than her straighter TV hair. It doesn’t look like her character, but it’s my favorite head in the painting.
Carrie’s hair wasn’t supposed to be green (I got some black paint in my yellow), but I liked it, so I left it that way. It fit with the look I was going for, a mix of reality and caricature.
How’d Courtney Love get in there?
Okay, I’ll just paint out Courtney’s face and hope to simply suggest Miranda with a blank wig head. Not a bad solution, because my heads were looking too human, and I want some of them to look wiggy.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Now Charlotte has morphed into Lisa Ling…
…but it’s nothing a big pair of sunglasses won’t (mostly) hide.
I left the background as is, just the stained/sealed wood surface. I love the look of the paint next to the wood grain.
And so we end another painting adventure. Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. It’s just occured to me that I have painted characters who idolize fashion with no bodies for their clothes, and no feet for their shoes. No, my girls are all brains and witty dialogue!