My next 54mm historical project is going to be based around the 54mm Art Girona "Nero" figure sculpted by Laruccia. It is going to be another exercise in forced lighting and the second in my "Roman Emperors and Columns" series (just joking - Remember Marcus Aurelius?). Believe it or not I also have a column set aside for Hadrian and one of the other emperors.
Nero (Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus - 37 to 68 AD) was the chosen of Claudius and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. His short reign was noted for trade, diplomacy and improving the cultural life of Rome. During his reign the great fire of Rome occured (64 AD) which many blamed on Nero as a way of clearing space for his architectural plans. Over the years a rumor began that while Rome burned Nero "fiddled" or played his harp. This rumor has been discredited as such but still remains as a lasting memory to many when his name is mentioned. It is to this story that I have decided to base my project.
My plan is to depict Nero playing his harp while being side lit by the fires of Rome. A warm red glow will bath his left side and cool blue shadow from the night and a bit of illumination from palace candles will light his right. In order to start my visualization I primed both the figure and the Pegaso base with Gray automotive primer and then shot a directional spray of White primer to indicate the lighting effect. The base coat will not only assist my vision of how shadows and highlights are modified by the forced lighting but the deep Gray will also effect the brightness of my oils to tone down the colors initially. This should be fun and I can't wait to start after I finish the current vignette.