A4 Card, Acrylic Paint.
This is the portrait of the real Alice, whom Lewis Carroll or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (his real name) met in London and inspired him to write Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Though it is a child’s book, I completely do not understand the logic involved in it whatsoever. Despite that fact, it did inspire a lot of film adaptations, comics to be drawn, sound tracks to be composed and art work to be made. And this would be one of them.
Alice’s Victorian apparel somehow links to the woman on the cover of Pride and Prejudice (I’ve never read it – maybe I should) in my mind.
Lovely isn’t it?
So I thought I should do something similar to that, but this time on Alice. American McGee’s Alice and Alice Madness Returns was an important source of inspiration for this since McGee managed to combine the disturbing and macabre into an innocent bedtime story you would read to your children, creating this interesting and exciting flavour of corruption to this rather psychological game. (It’s one of the first games that made me philosophical for a few moments.)
The background is made from pages from the original book, as you could see the illustrations of Alice interacting with other characters in Wonderland. To add a sense of ageing, I gave the background a wash of black ink that manages to separate into blue and brown dyes like paper chromatography. An elliptical hole is cut in the middle of the background to reveal the portrait. I think it is appropriate to do so as I was mimicking the style of Victorian photographic portraits.
The most of the painting is in monochrome, except for the blood stains as I thought the introduction of the third colour would make it stand out to the viewer, perhaps indicating that something might be… wrong. The most difficult bit was painting the teeth and the skeletal jaw as it was hard to be accurate due to the brush size and the scale I was working at. What went reasonably well was the hair as I thought it was quite easy to paint – mainly due to the sharp contrast as portrayed in the original portrait and it covering a larger area for me to work on.
Finally there was the “Eat Me” tag. I thought it would be fun to put it on as a reference from the cake scene in the story and how it is meant for the viewer so Alice will know who to feast on.
P.S. She is always hungry.