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Alene's avatar

The Misfits

I just finished a triptych of Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift in the film The Misfits, for a client who also commissioned Gloria Grahame and Robert Redford. I don't usually take commissions of film stars, but in this case I know the commissioner (and so couldn't really get out of it =P)

The film is not a favourite of mine, and the promotional pictures were all rather grainy, which made this quite a tricky job to do. Marilyn was especially tricky, as there was none of the classic Monroe look to fall back on; her look in this film was very different to what we are accustomed to seeing.

View a WIP animation of Marilyn Monroe here: [link]

Size: 18x18cm each
Time Taken: Around 30 hours each, so about 90 hours.
Materials: 0.5 mechanical pencil with #B lead, #8B solid graphite pencil, plastic, kneadable and electric erasers, cotton buds, tissues and blending stumps. For more on my materials please visit my tutorial: Pencil Portraiture- Materials
References from:

Enjoy! =D
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Image size
2592x1299px 1.52 MB
© 2010 - 2021 Alene
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hunlin's avatar
I went to see it at the BFI because I'm a massive Eli Wallach fan. 

It's funny; he was one of the main roles, and yet he barely even got top billing.
Alene's avatar
Billing is generally worked out in order of the prominence of the actor, so he was bound to be a bit lower down in a picture that include Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, I'm afraid. =)
hunlin's avatar
He was twice the actor they were (although Monroe did somewhat prove herself): he just wasn't considered a "star" likw the rest of them.
classicmovieguy's avatar
would love to use some of your illustrations for my book on Classic Movies...maybe we can work something out. also email at
Alene's avatar
Hi there! I'd need to know a bit more before I could decide either way. =) 
ChatonRose's avatar
Excellent work! :clap:
Alene's avatar
Thank you so much! =)
olde-fashioned's avatar
Clark Gable's is my favourite--I love how you kept the crags in his face, but without being unkind or unflattering. That image looks like it had harsh lighting to begin with, but you've done a remarkable job! :D
Alene's avatar
Yes, he's my favourite too, I'm so glad you like him =) The image did indeed have harsh lighting – the photos from this movie are pretty abysmal; very grainy and/or slightly out of focus, and quite harsh, which made this a particularly hard job. I had lovely clear images of the various people from different films, and used those to make up for what the actual references were lacking, but it's never the same as having nice refs to start with. =P
olde-fashioned's avatar
Ugh, having to compensate for bad reference pics is TORTURE. I find myself adding details that aren't visible/there to begin with, just to "fix" it...
Alene's avatar
Yes, and it's so easy to get carried away... or to add so much that it stops looking realistic. >.<
starshield's avatar
That picture of Gable is amazing.
Alene's avatar
khinson's avatar
These look great! I prefer Mr. Gables older work, but your drawing is beautiful!
Alene's avatar
Yes, so do I. But thank you, and thanks for the :+fav: too, I'm glad you liked it!
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