The 8th in my series of portraits from the ground-breaking epic series "A Game of Thrones" - I've titled the series "Illustrations of Fire & Ice" - a reference to the book series "A Song of Fire & Ice" - from which GOT originates. Portrayed brilliantly by the amazingly talented Lena Headey - who does a wonderful job making you utterly despise and loathe her character.
ABOUT THIS ILLUSTRATION
9 x 12 inches
Pencil/graphite - 8B, 5B, 3B, B, F, H, 2H, 4H
Mechanical Pencils & Faber-Castell - Castell 9000 Professional Illustration Pencils
120lb cotton cardstock - bright white - extra tight weave
Koh-I-Noor electric - fine draftsman eraser
Completed November 6th, 2015
NOTES ON TECHNIQUE
I often plan illustrations (especially portraits) by looking at the rules of cinematography and photography; I take what I've learned about how the eye and the brain search for and recognize detail to present minimal line and form but establish a composition that faithfully represents the subject. Working from photos is helpful for the elements that compose a good/great photo are excellent sources for the development of a good/great illustration. I usually ignore the background completely. There's no need to complicate the design or composition by trying to include the background information unless it is relevant to the composition (as deemed by you - the artist). I also look at what I can drop in terms of complexity to still present the subject faithfully - such as the ornate nature of her cloak. In truthfulness - Cersei's cloak is the expression she chooses to wear on her face.
KNOW YOUR SUBJECT - understand their motivation and their personality.
As we saw in the last season of GOT - she can be naked - forced into a place designed to break her down and humiliate her and she's still going to wear a face that betrays little of what she is feeling.
I chose focus on her eyes, nose, and lips... the way she uses her features to express a thin veil of indifference - like a thin layer of foam on the surface of a wave that is being driven by an ocean of hate and rage. I chose not to do a detailed treatment of her hair or clothing because it really didn't matter in terms of the success of the illustration. Plan ahead. Think about what you are doing BEFORE you make the first stroke of your pencil on the paper. I ALWAYS plan each illustration in advance. Through the years I've learned to control the proportion and layout so I don't get towards the edge of the paper and realize I didn't make enough room.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS -
One thing I did when I was younger - before I had access to different leads - was that if I wanted a darker line I'd just apply more pressure. If this is all you've got to work with - it can work in a limited capacity. By purchasing several different densities of lead - I was learned I could apply the same pressure for every part of the composition - that I could use the properties of the leads to do the hard work for me. This way I didn't gouge and possibly tear my paper. Using heavier paper also helps. Today I have a dozen different types of leads for my mechanical pencils and as much of a pain as it can be to change them out - I will - many times.
I use numerous types of erasers and blending tools, even different sharpeners to get different point on the wood pencils I use.
I have several different sets of pencils. I am currently enjoying the Faber-Castell - Castell 9000 Professional Illustration pencil series. These are outstanding pencils.