Ask any real artist and they will tell you that inspiration comes from the most unlikely sources, like a lightning. And you have to be there, artistically and mentally present, to capture it and put it on canvas; otherwise, it goes away as quickly as it came and you cannot bring it back at will. It comes and goes whenever it likes.
As an artist, when I look at any subject and, more specifically, at any human face, I analyze it, study it and break it down in its components. I, involuntarily, pass it through artistic filters, so to speak.
One of the tests of these 'filters', is, - for me, at least, - the criterion of originality.
It is this expressive originality of the features of Benedict Cumberbatch, that acted as inspiration and as an artistic challenge for me:
Capturing and depicting the wide forehead with the almond - shaped eyes, which command attention, despite being relatively small.
The straight nose with its solid forehead base and the clear distance it has from the expressive lips.
The striking cheek bones, which, along with the eyes, dominate the face.
In short, the unconventional symmetry of a face, in which all the features are so unexpectedly incompatible with each other and yet bind so well together.
The dramatic effect of chiaroscuro added to the challenge, since painting the eyes, in particular, required me to use double nuances to depict that part of the eyes that is in light and that part of the eyes that is in shadow.
I have been told that it turned out to be a very faithful, expressive likeness, with eyes that are particularly piercing.
If this portrait is pleasant for you to look at, then I am glad.
And I am glad I have shared it with you.
- Melpomeni -