Monday, August 22, 2011

From Photo to Art--Marilyn Monroe

While watching television on Sunday, I noticed that Turner Classic Movies was featuring screen goddess Marilyn Monroe, in some of her best roles, like "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," How To Marry a Millionaire," "Bus Stop," and others.

I wrote a blog about her in June,  in recognition of what would have been Marilyn's 85th birthday.  I included images of the two drawings I've done of her.  However, I have never featured her in a "From Photo to Art" entry, and since that blog was posted, I have updated the jpeg of the original drawing.

This artwork is based on a photo taken by photographer Bert Stern in 1962, from a series now known as "The Last Sitting."  Shot 6 weeks before her untimely death, Mr. Stern shot her over 3 days in LA, capturing a flirty, sexy, playful sex goddess (Bert Stern recreated the Last Sitting with actress Lindsey Lohan for New York Magazine a few years ago).  The results

I was greatly inspired by this photograph, as I believe it one of the sexiest, most erotic I've seen of Marilyn.   Who couldn't gaze upon a beautiful screen icon, laying nude on her bed, with just the sheets to partially cover her, and a 'come-hither' look on her face, which is almost post-coital.

Of my two Marilyn Monroe portraits, this was actually the first image chosen, although it was the second one drawn (they were both gifts for family members).  I opted to create this on a buff colored illustration board, instead of my customary white board, and, along with graphite pencil, I also added some colored pencil in a few places to highlight it.

There are some differences between the original reference photo and my art---I added dark tones behind her head because the back light Mr. Stern wonderfully incorporated into the shot, unfortunately took away some of the definition of Marilyn's hair.  I also changed the sheets to make them more rumpled, as if they were "well-used."  I also showed more of the side of her right breast, as a bit of a glamour tease.

I am hoping to create another Marilyn Monroe illustration in the near future. She is the epitome of the Hollywood sex symbol, and her untimely death only made her legend grow.

To see more of my artwork, please visit Fine Art America.