JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

The Scarlett Johansson Project, Oil

During 2009 I made two attempts to paint portraits of Scarlett Johansson. One was made in aquarelle and the other was made in acrylic. She has a fantastic face so I am far from done with painting her.

This time I had decided to try painting her with oil paint on a hardwood plywood panel. I think a portrait of Scarlett from the front is a bit more difficult than slightly from the side – for a beginner. So this time I treated myself of an easier view of Scarlett.

When preparing this project I browsed the Internet for photos of Scarlett and during this search I found out three things about Scarlett. The first is that she has a slightly asymmetric face. Secondly that the left part of her face is more classically beautiful but the right side is more recognizable of being specifically Scarlett. The last thing I found was that Scarlett often has her lips open. Open lips, ladies and gentlemen, are more difficult to paint – for a beginner.

After long hesitation I decided to make a portrait of Scarlett Johansson based on a photo as you can see here above of her left side where she has a magnificent hair style. And yes, her lips are open. Scarlett has a fantastic peach soft skin on this photo. I really wanted to capture that softness of her skin in my painting. I printed the picture of her and started to outline the painting with help of charcoal. This was October 24.

With the charcoal drawing in place I started to mix the paint for the skin. I use yellow, gold, white and a tiny bit of red to make the flesh color. The white I use is based on Zinc. I am not a good friend with the titanium white. For the darker parts I use a mix of burnt sienna and cobalt blue. Here on this photo I applied the first layer of the skin.

On this photo I have painted the entire background and also removed it again. What’s left is a light green tint.

On this photo I have worked more on the background. At this point I was still not happy about the result but I let it be like this and I continue with the face of Scarlett instead. This was all I could do the first evening together with Scarlett.

The next evening on October 25 I continued with the painting of Scarlett. Here I have added areas of orange colored shade. This was because I had the feeling that the painting was to pale. On this painting I painted the hair for the first time. That was fun. As you can see I made the little swirls of hair in her neck as well. Also the hair got an orange color. The overall tone was too much orange but that is fine at this point. The mouth got that specific angle in the corner indicating a little smile. The bright white in the photo here above is caused by reflection.

The areas of colors have been smoothed on this photo. There are not so many sharp edges at this point. I discovered that the chin line had dropped on the painting. On the photo Scarlett has a much sharper chin angle.

After I found out about the chin angle I also found out that the curve under her cheekbone had dropped too. I used a little tool I have to measure angles. It is two pieces of paper that I can turn as you can see on the photo. So I fixed the angles as you can see on the next photo. Also I tried to make the hair less orange and more blonde.

Then it was time for minor adjustments. The eyes and the ear ring. The background got a more gray blue tone.

In this step I lost the whirls of hair in Scarletts neck. Unfortunately the hair looks like it has been painted on a paper and cut out and glued on top of the painting. On the next photo you can see how I tried to “connect” the hair to the face again.

Here is the end result. I added a little bit of swirls and shadow on the face so that the hair would be a little bit more connected to the face. Hmm... I don't know. That peach soft feeling did not succeed everywhere as well. For the rest, I had a nice time together with Scarlett.

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If you need to send me a link or something personal you can do that on jens at malmgren dot nl.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.