Because it's Halloween... my take on Medusa, ala Caravaggio


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This was a Values challenge at WC earlier this year. I thought it would be fun to go monotone, and chose red given the violent nature of the painting.

Medusa 1.jpg

Caravaggio apparently used himself for the face in his famous Medusa, a kind of signal that she couldn't turn him to stone, but I tried to feminize her somewhat. His was also painted on a round shield, or board, so I used a dinner plate to get my circle. I didn't think I'd ever get a decent sketch - about wore out an eraser using graphite, when actually soft pastel would have been easier.

Medusa wip 1 graphite sketch.jpg

Whenever I feel way outside my comfort zone, I tend to take a lot of work in progress pics. Here is another:

Medusa wip 4.jpg

A closeup:

Medusa closeup 1.jpg

And here is my palette. Except for the black and white, these are all van Gogh oil pastels, and this was done on 12x16" Arches oil paper.

Medusa OP palette.jpg

Whew! I didn't think I'd ever finish that one, either. I wanted her to be scary. o_O All comments welcomed and appreciated - thanks for looking, and Happy Halloween!
This is perfect art to post in Halloween! Red color is a brilliant choice. I like the round form and overall look, too.
Wow .. her hair looks like a lot of work. I'm in trouble with only one cat tail and here you have too many to even count. The progress photos are interesting to see and also read the story behind the work.
Thank you so much, moscatel! The snakes were a snarly mess, and you can see all the erase marks on the sketch. :LOL: Once the sketch was done it was easier to get going with the OP's, decide on blends, etc.
Wow! This is such a strong work Terri. She's definitely scary too. It's really well done: the face, the snakes, and the colors are very saturated and nicely chosen. You did it again. I am loving your straight pastel work a lot! ♥️ ♥️ ♥️
This is just so cool ! I love the red (and is that blood dripping out of her neck?....oooooo.....:eek:)against the black, and what a fine job on all of that detail and the smoothness where blended. I love it !
Thank you so much, dupliKate! Yes, that is blood coming out of her neck - Caravaggio painted his Medusa at the exact moment she was decapitated by Perseus in Greek mythology, so it's quite a moment. I mean, that's a really bad day.
That's an incredible painting for using such a small amount of colors, Terri! I think I read that Carravaggio was a convicted murderer but that may not be true. He was a character for sure. The snakey hair is not something I'd ever like to encounter!
Donna, Vivien - thank you both so much!

Donna - yes, Caravaggio was quite the character, in and out of trouble. I'd have to refresh my memory on what I've read about him. He sure did some wild paintings, didn't he?? :LOL:
I love the red palette - very dramatic! And great work on the expression and the snakes. :)
Thank you, Triduana! I really appreciate your comments. ❤
Anne, I didn't see your post until now- sorry! Thank you for the kind words. I wanted her to be scary. :)