Elementary, Dear Data. A Star Trek: TNG painting
Star Trek keeps inspiring me to make new paintings based on characters from the classic series. After making a couple of months ago Captain Picard one, the next logical step would be our beloved android Lt. Commander Data.
If you are a fan of Star Trek: TNG, you will surely remember that there were many references to Sherlock Holmes in the show. In fact, two episodes, “Elementary, Dear Data” and “Ship in a Bottle,” were focused on Data’s admiration of the character of Holmes.
Using the holodeck allowed Data and LaForge to play the role of Holmes and Watson. But, as you may suspect, of course, something goes wrong when a brilliant Moriarty program becomes sentient.
The game is afoot!
For this portrait, I used some reference images from the “Elementary, Dear Data” episode. Getting the skin tones right in a portrait is always a bit tricky as there are many subtle variations in color.
This portrait was no exception with the added difficulty that Data is not human, but an android with some pale yellowish and slightly bright skin.
The colors in the original show are a bit muted, and I could not rely solely on the photo references, or it could become a dull painting. So I opted for using a bit more saturated color instead.
I also wanted to use a blue background that contrasts with the figure’s warm tones, but the Cyan color I used was too strong and distracting.
Happy accidents happen sometimes.
I start to cover the background with another layer of paint, and, by mere chance, the mixture resulted in a very nice blueish/green color that was softer and had just the perfect contrast I was looking for. One of those little happy accidents, I guess!
Once everything was painted, I thought it would be funny if some bubbles came from his pipe.
I know that they may look a bit goofy (well, just like Holmes episodes), but I really like them and think that makes a nice contrast with the usually stoic Data´s face.
A strange resemblance
Once I finished the portrait, I had the feeling that I have seen this painting somewhere.
I swear that this was not intentional, but I think that there are some resemblances to a Rene Magritte watercolor by using the pipe and a static frontal view.
Do I imagine things? Another mystery!