Portraits in Oil of Idris Elba as Pharaoh by Katja Turnsek

Idris Elba as Pharaoh portrait in oil

Portrait Commission Info

Peter Caldeira contacted me to paint a rather unusual oil portrait for him. He created a composition for me to use as reference in Photoshop. Peter have been a big part of the painting process himself. The oil painting is of actor Idris Elba as a Pharaoh.

I got many emails and phone calls from Peter as I was painting this portrait and it felt like we had a huge project going on there. Indeed it was a big project and I started to study Rembrandt and how he painted as I wanted to learn as much of the process as I could.

Some parts were ruled out though, since I wanted to create the painting in my own style. This painting was created on Italian extra fine grained linen canvas.

Painting Information

Medium: Oil on Linen Canvas
Size: 50 x 40 cm
Year Painted: 2013
Subject: Idris Elba as Pharaoh
Commissioned by: Peter Caldeira, USA

The Reference Photographs of "Idris Elba"

This photo composition was created by my client Peter himself. He had a vision of what he wanted to have painted and sent me this photo mock-up which he created in photoshop. The only thing I had to think about were the details and the warmer colors which had to be applied while painting.

Reference Photo

Portrait in Progress

Below you can view a few work in progress photos of this portrait. It is important for me that you understand the painting process at the same as you have a full input the entire time, that is why I’m prepared to spend some extra time in order to keep you regularly updated. I have had this feature for many years, even though I uploaded the progress images to a static html page at first. Now I use my portraits in blog for this exciting feature. If you do not wish to share your painting’s progress or the completed painting with the world, I can send you the progress images by email. Several clients decided to do this, especially famous ones.

Idris Elba as Pharaoh portrait in oil

Good morning Katja (or is it afternoon now where your are)

Thanks very much for doing such an extraordinary job on this masterpiece. Where the composition appeared flat and cartoonish, you breathe life into it through a continuous conversation to realize my ideal. In fact, you have given the painting a soul that communicates a sense of calm that goes far beyond expectation. When I received the work, I spent countless hours staring at it across the room and fancying what it was like to sit in the presence of a pharaoh. As an art student who has had years of theoretical and practical knowledge of the painting process, I am truly amazed at how this painting makes me feel. My family and friends all share the same sentiments.

Thank you.
Peter Caldeira