This is a digital painting of Ian McDiarmid playing Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars. Although he’s a villain, he’s still one of my favourite characters, thanks to Ian’s superb acting work. Below are some stills from Star Wars “The Phantom Menace” (Image credit LucasFilm Ltd.)
My main reference for this painting was the top left photo (above).
I began with a drawing.
This was not made to be a proper drawing so much as a map for the painting which is why it looks a little bit funky.
Then I began to paint! At first I just scrubbed in some basic colours and tones to get the feeling for the main structure of his face and clothes.
Removing the map leaves us with this very rough sketch.
Then I began to refine the painting a bit at a time. I really enjoy this process as the details begin to appear. First I cleaned up the beautiful costume he’s wearing and then pulled together my very rough and ready rendering of Ian’s face.
Once I had things basically in the right place I worked on the details of his hair and facial features.
Finally I added a background and gave it some texture and tonal variation. This is the way I’m starting to move away from my autistic need to see each painting subject alone and seperate in a blank field.
My only job then was to pull the image into Photoshop and adjust my values. Here is my final painting.
He’s such a great character!
Here’s one of my favourite quotes from the Prequal Trilogy as Chancellor Palpatine is confronted by the Jedi Masters lead by Mace Windu…
Mace Windu: In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you are under arrest, Chancellor.
Chancellor Palpatine: Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?
Mace Windu: The Senate will decide your fate.
Chancellor Palpatine: I am the Senate!
(Clip courtersy of qpsizzle’s You Tube Channel / Film Credit Lucasfilm Ltd.)