Ernest Shackleton 130115 FINALThis was a commission for the same great patron who wanted a portrait of Winston Churchill.

The idea behind the portrait was to make his face show all the trials, pain and strength in the man’s amazing adventure in the South Polar regions.
If you haven’t read his recounting of his expedition in the book  ‘South’ I urge you to do so.
Texture upon texture was created with many different materials, the colour palette was restricted to to cold hues and the mark making was frenetic with no pussyfooting.
As the surface is so textured, the light really effects it’s appearance. Above is the work in weak sunlight, below is with an overhead bulb.

Ernest Shackleton final hard light

The book about the making of this portrait is available here.

Screen shot 2015-02-13 at 12.16.41

You can see a readable pdf of the book here.

Screen shot 2015-02-13 at 12.19.00


This is a study for the painting which is also being framed.
In hindsight the ears are tiny! Shackleton, being dead could only be drawn and painted from photographic sources. This made me really try and bring out every contour to combat the flatness of the photographic source.



About Trevor Mill

This is my work. Art & Design. The fruits of my labour. Commissions / projects welcome.
This entry was posted in Art, Books, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to ERNEST SHACKLETON. A portrait.

  1. docrichie says:

    Fascinating and I enjoyed seeing the progression of the work – something rarely exhibited. The sketches and preparatory work for me were the most interesting although the finished piece contained much of that energy and inspiration. Thanks.

  2. shaunpimlott says:

    A really impressive portrait. The rough texture add a really interesting play with scale – with the face becoming reminiscent of a craggy, scarred landscape.

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