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Scott Bakal
Alexander McQueen
posted:
My dreams are bigger than I have time for sometimes. As a personal project, I was planning on doing a few portraits of fashion designers this summer. I actually said something like '10'. With the workload I eventually got, I got one done. I am going to continue the series but at the very least, feel pretty good doing this one.

I wanted to do this series for a number of reasons, one being portraits. Portraits are not something I am entirely comfortable doing. I'd like to get more of that work and challenge myself. I also have a growing interest in fashion and Alexander McQueen is a standout. I am not a 'fashion buff' but I was floored when I saw the Savage Beauty exhibition at The Met. I saw the show three times.

I wanted to play with composition and juxtaposition of elements in this piece. I used some new media here also - the entire background is gold leaf. I've discovered gold leaf is not incredibly easy to paint on or work with. Photographing this painting was also a chore. Scanning this sort of thing is impossible and lighting the painting to not have glares or hot spots is an art in and of itself.

I thought the gold leaf would be interesting as well as the skull and would make an interesting comments on his life and death. One of my memories of The Met exhibit was his use of gold and silver...really, metal and his choices of color seemed to surround these warmer tones.

There were many personal creative hills to climb to get the piece done but I am very happy with the final. I am back onto other projects for now but I still keeping the portraits going.
I also took a photo with the glare completely covering the piece. This itself was actually kind of difficult. Usually there would be a spot glare somewhere. This is a GIF I quickly made to show the difference if there was an all-over glare. You can really see the gold leaf in a silvery way but it totally drops out the rest of the piece.
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Bakal is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!