Summer Shakespeare

One of the things I try not to miss in the summertime is the annual production of a Shakespeare play in the cloister ruins at Romateatern on Gotland. It’s always an amazing experience. This year, they are doing Othello, and we were lucky enough to get front row center seats on a warm summer night. It was great – wonderful actors and a simple-yet-striking production design. I recommend seeing it if you get the chance!

If you know the play, you know that it’s Iago who gets to really chew the scenery and Allan Svensson did exactly that to crowd-pleasing effect, but Peter Gardiner also did solid work playing the title role. I’d originally planned to try and furtively sketch a bit during the show (à la James Gurney), but the actors were basically standing right in front of us, so I was much too intimidated with these two intense characters just a meter or so away. Still, I did my best to memorize Gardiner as he did his “Othello gazes broodingly into the distance whilst Iago pours poison in his ear” pose. Below is my attempt to capture him on my iPad using Procreate:

Peter Gardiner in Romateatern’s 2012 “Othello”

4 thoughts on “Summer Shakespeare

    • Thanks so much, Kim! It was a tricky likeness for me – especially from memory – so I am glad you like it. This is one of the few times so far that an image has turned out very close to the way I imagined it…

  1. Dave – lovely work! Are the basic paintbrush tools in Procreate all you need to pull off this look, or have you tweaked them a lot to achieve the right feel?

    • Thanks, Kyle! I believe I was mainly using the standard “Flat Wet Brush”, although I might have used the regular Flat Brush and turned on “wet” for it – close to the same thing. I tend to use brushes at about 90% opacity, and just keep piling strokes and colours on top of each other… then I get nice bits and pieces of earlier marks peeking through the edges.

      I love the big chalk brush quite a bit as well, and likely built a quick background field using that.

      It was all kind of murky when it was done (it still looks a bit murky, now that I see it again), and at the time Procreate had not implemented overlay mode, so I took it into Brushes just to use that feature.

      Post 1.7, of course, I could have done it all right inside Procreate – which just keeps getting better (and it’s already excellent!).

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