A Valentine for Anne Boleyn-Part 1-the process.

Garage sale find- old clock case

This is going to be the box for my Valentine Love Shrine to Anne Boleyn, second wife, and some say greatest love, of Henry the Eighth.  It’s an old Victorian old clock case (minus the clock) that I bought from my friend Jeanmarie in one of her amazing and magical garage sales. I thought it looked very Tudorish (yes that is now a word).

Clock case ER

It was a bit old and battered and some some sanding and some gluing was called for and then on to the undercoat of  matte black gesso.

Undercoat of black gesso.

While that dries, I work on the portrait of Anne. I decided to create it with colored oil pencils on Dura-Lar Matte.  This is a thick mylar that’s archival and will remain “dimensionally stable” but most importantly to me, it has similar qualities to the thin sheets of ivory that miniature portraits were painted on in the past. The oil pencils are translucent and allow me to layer on several underglazes creating the deep rich appearance of oil paints. Here is a red underglaze with an umber being added to make a very rich brown/black. You can see my reference, the Hever Castle portrait of Anne in the background. It shows her hands holding a red rose.

Portrait- red underglaze

I also used another portrait of Anne as reference, it’s the one that we most commonly think of as her likeness and it is thought to be a copy of a lost portrait painted in 1533-36. In both portraits, she is wearing the same outfit and both show the famous ” B”necklace. I personally think the Hever Castle to be the “lost” original that has now turned up. It also appears on the cover of the book “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn” by Eric Ives, which is the definitive account of her life, according to my friend Brina who is truly an expert on all things Anne and who is helping me with the research on this piece.

Both portraits and mine.

That portrait is on top, the Hever Castle one is on the left and mine is almost completed on the right. When I’ve finished the portrait, I will begin to sketch the designs that I will paint on the box and will post them as I go along.

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