Sansa Looking Severe

My most recent project is a 1/10 bust of Sansa Stark. The figure is ‘Queen of the North’ by Nuts Planet.

I had a lot of fun painting Sansa, while also pushing against my artistic & technical limitations. This was my goal!

This model offered the chance for me to practice painting several important textures & colors, including female skin, hair, fur, and black fabric.

Compositionally, it was mostly a simple game of warm/cold contrast. The face was tricky, as I wanted a pale complexion and exhausted appearance to sit in balance with the youthful vitality of the new queen.

Painting a woman character was difficult. It demanded careful blending to create a smooth complexion. Well, I did my best! Actually, I probably overworked it a bit, and I’ll try to keep that in mind next time. I also tried to strike a delicate balance between contrast & evenness of tone, paleness & vitality.

While I realize that real women don’t have the kind of porcelain skin I did my best to capture, in this case I was facing both popular imagination and a well known likeness that always wore professional make-up onscreen.

A well known likeness which… sometimes proved at odds with this sculpt. I really like this bust (big long nose and all), and I think it looks cool, but it is not a very accurate representation of Sophie Turner, who played Sansa on HBO’s Game of Thrones. The nose is too long and broad, the cheeks are too strong and pronounced, and the overall head shape is longer and rounder than the actress’s. My friend David Colwell said he thought this model might serve as a better depiction of Catelyn, rather than Sansa, Stark. I can’t disagree.

In the end this was a challenging sculpt that kept me interested, motivated, and humble. I have more female busts I’m eager to paint, and to a certain extent Sansa was meant to serve as preparation for those pieces. As a step in my mini painting journey, I can only be pleased with a piece upon which I worked so hard with so much enjoyment.

2 thoughts on “Sansa Looking Severe”

  1. While I don’t have any experience painting busts, I feel similarly to you about painting fair skin realistically. Its not nearly as easy as regular skin tones and getting the balance right is tough. I think Sansa looks fantastic and I really like the coldness this piece conveys. Its perfect for her character, especially in the later seasons. I can see you improving with each project and as you would have guessed, I especially like the subject of this one so it is one of my all-time favorite things you’ve painted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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