Henry VIII

Henry Viii

So this is the painting that has taken me months to do, the latest in my Monarchy with dinosaurs series.

My photography skills alas are shocking so this does not do the painting justice however i wanted to show it off!

Henry is a bigger than life character and every surface in this painting is so blinged up that it all took me forever to paint. So much PAINTING!


The wood paneling behind him was probably the hardest bit of this painting. i started on the top left (being right handed) and worked my way across. there were times i just could not face the thing.  I decided as an experiment to paint oak. My goodness, was it TEDIOUS OR WHAT


Every surface had a different texture, there’s velvet, fur, embroidery, linen undershirt puffs, feather, hair, skin, wood carpet, scales, jewellery. it never seemed to end. but to get the full Tudor experience, one had to do it.  It’s kind of fun painting jewellery but horrible painting pearls. Pearls always turn out a bit naff for me, but i feel quite good when I look at other tudor portraits as the contemporary painters often messed them up as well.


I am not a neat, symmetrical painter, as you can see and tell. Neither painting, embroidery, writing, or most things, am i good at squaring the edges (woodwork is a pain for me because of this, goes against the grain. So TO SPEAK! HAHAHAH).

He was a long time coming, as you can see below. I also scrubbed out his entire chest bit and redrew it cause it was naff – this is the blocked in painting below.


The colours stayed pretty candy coloured right up till the end… at which point I did a wash with medium and paynes grey and add in shadows in a number of washes that go from pale/light to very dark. i know some people would be horrified that i don’t paint the shading directly into the bits while I’m doing it – on some I do, but on a picture like this that just evolves and evolves, i put the shadow washes in last, and it makes it pop and look really deep.

BTW, wordpress – I am from Australia and we spell ‘colour’ with a u, not as ‘color’. STOP TRYING TO AUTOCORRECT ME.

4 responses to “Henry VIII

  1. Well, from my first landing on your blog I have admired your work, but this is a crazy new best. You are a royal freak and few were freakier than old Henry/8. Colour or color (hey, they tried to correct me!) it is a wonderful painting! I love his feet and the animal wrapped around his lower body!

  2. I really like ‘crazy new best’. Thank you! i really had a hard time working on this one cause it seemed to never end. the dinosaur is a hadrosaur. i liked giving him a little jewelled collar. 🙂

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