330 x 210cm

Oil on Linen


2019 Archibald Finalist

Winner of the 2019 Archibald Packing Room Prize

This portrait was designed to situate Australian actor, David Wenham, within a near figurative urban Sydney environment. Seated behind the large glass pane of a cafe, the exterior streetscape reflects and merges into that of the cafe’s interior, with David nestled between the two.

After two days of location scouting, Tessa found a café and adjacent street facade that offered her desired composition, and then staged a photo shoot with David. The master reference photo was a composite of two shots, with and without a polarising filter, to emphasise certain parts of the exterior streetscape while retaining the cafe’s interior and David’s face behind the glass.

Once the master reference photo was completed, Tessa marked pencil lines onto canvas and applied a grisaille layer to compartmentalise tone from colour. The painting is made up of seven layers of colour, with finer detail rendered via dry brushing and glazes. By pushing and pulling colour and tone, Tessa slowly built up David and the urban world around him.

This original artwork has been sold.

Limited prints of this artwork available here.