When it comes to Kick Ass female roles, the first lady I think of is Uma Thurman, as Beatrix Kiddom aka, Black Mamba in Tarantino’s Kill Bill series. Her characters range and depth explore the full gamut of emotions… and, of course, she hacks up a few hundred peeps along the way.
Here is the entire process in 79 seconds, set to the beats of MH the Verb, featuring Kuf Knotz, and produced by Chuck Mack.
Captured from a paused scene on my TV… this is the shot they roll to each time she runs into someone on her kill list. The music goes wee, woooo, weeee, wooo, duh, nuh, nuh….
This was a second photo taken of the same still through a different exposure setting on my camera, so I decided to use this as the palette inspiration.
Starting out with the collage elements… this painting is different from the rest… as the background is collaged. There is a large swatch of un-collaged surface, most of which was destined to be pure shadow.
Nailing down the initial features… here, Uma was getting the thumbs up Facebook style.
Shadows painted in, two tones in the hair… a dark image at this stage.
I decided on a deeper mid-tone orange on the fez.
A secondary orange… the lips feature female demons holding a samurai sword… they would eventually be (mostly) painted out.
An intense, upward gaze…
At full contrast, ready for the highlights.
First, I spent an entire day painting the streaks in the hair… but they were too dark, so it was a wash. Next, it was about adding the highlights, which sharply accentuate Kiddo’s nose, cheekbones and forehead.
The severity of the highlights in this painting fit the mood of the film, so I left them as they are… added hidden feature? They combine to form an abstract star.
Now we’re getting somewhere… more midtones, the hair is now in-line with the facial tonality.
My well-intended shadows on the neck just didn’t feel right… I knew they had to go.
In the upper-left of the canvas I added a Lee Krasner painting… specifically the one she shows to Jackson in the movie Pollock. He states, “you’re a damn fine painter, for a woman”. Her ability to crack the male dominated society of artists is akin to Uma’s portrayal of a ruthlessly effective lead in this action series.
And there you have it… Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo, aka, Black Mamba, from Kill Bill 1 & 2. A wonderful character in a spectacular film series by Tarantino, a dastardly genius.
One more time. Uma joins…
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