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.
The book about the making of this portrait is available here.
You can see a readable pdf of the book here.
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.