Mary Brian Twenty Years On by Mark Sheeky

G126A Mary Brian Twenty Years On
Oil on polystyrene
Nov 2007 to Jan 2008, Size 234x336 mm

About this painting
A portrait of silent film star Mary Brian. I love the soft look of the photographs from the silent film era and have painted a few portraits, primarily as technical exercises. This work was something of a culmination of those early portraits.

Technical details
This was underpainted in grey and coloured with a transparent glaze layer. The rose colour comes from ultramarine rose, a pink variant of the common blue colour which can be seen around the eyes. The violet pink would be overpowering without the lemon yellow that calms it.

The materials used on this painting were unusual. It is painted on 4mm transparent polystyrene, which adds a barely perceptible glow to the image due to a subtle back-reflection, and amber varnish instead of modern picture varnish. Amber fluoresces under ultraviolet light. This painting looks far more beautiful in real life than the crude glow of a digital screen can emulate.

Mary Brian Twenty Years On (Original)
Private collection.