Jennifer Jason Leigh
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Allegra Geller
(eXistenZ [1999])

From one of the pictures in the eXistenZ soundtrack booklet. I picked this image because: 1 - the past two drawings were of men, 2 - it shows more than just her face as opposed to my previous two drawings, 3 - she was laying sideways, and 4 - you get a cookie if you can guess my forth reason. Or in other words, I just wanted to do something different than the headshots that I had been doing. Okay, all of that on top of the fact the photo was very well composed and designed (compliments of Cronenberg and Suschitzky.)

Around this time, I developed a frustration with these booklets. You see, they cropped the image to fit into a space with defined edges, and I did not want to draw it with their layout. I wanted it to rest in the middle of my paper with no defined border. So if I drew an exact replica, it would look funny. For example, the photo cropped off the top part of her right shoulder. The original photo was also wider, showing more of her right arm. And since I was already tweaking the image, I eliminated the game pod completely because unless you’ve seen eXistenZ you wouldn’t know it’s a game pod. Trust me. It’s a Cronenberg film. If you don’t know who David Cronenberg is, then ... well, never mind. I’d like to say that’s the reason her hand looks a bit off, but the truth is I have no excuse: I screwed up. And while we’re on the subject of my mistakes, I should have better defined her chin via shading and/or lines (or something). Oh well. But look at the bed cover she’s laying on! That looks pretty good!

On another technical level that I wasn’t concerned with, the image doesn’t have enough value (ie, it’s too light all around.) While it looks all right, adding a greater range and overall darkening the image slightly would benefit it on every level (and would’ve fixed the problem with her chin.) But, once again, I was more concerned with the shape of the human face, the human body, and details relating to that. I’ll slowly work up to correctly executed renders and aesthetic appeal as far as pencil technique is concerned sooner or later once I’m more comfortable with the human form.