I believe this piece was inspired by a show I attended somewhere in Los Angeles. One of the artists exhibiting had an illustration based on Baz Luhrmann's 1996 modern interpretation, of William Shakespeares' classic work 'Romeo & Juliet'. While the film adaptation follows the storyline of Shakespeares classic pretty closely, it has been given an updated wardrobe, set in the 1990's, yet still retains it's trademark dialog. The film was, commercially well received since it starred Hollywood up and comer Claire Danes, and the already well seasoned Leonardo DiCaprio. The design work was also very bright and colorful, a theme that Luhrmann would carry on through other films.
The design of the image came to me pretty quickly, but it was the execution that proved to be a bit trickier. I new I wanted to do a silhouette piece of ill-fated lovers, but also needed to make sure that my images were close enough in likeness to the actors playing the characters from the film. I was able to secure a copy of the movie from a friend of mine (thank you Cory), and begun looking for reference shots. Combining that with some images I found on the internet, I was able to secure the poses I needed. I knew I wanted to portray Juliet in her angel costume from when the couple first meets, and put Romeo in his wardrobe of choice (a Hawaiian shirt). I also knew that in order for this illustration to read more, it needed to be connected to film's modern take on the couple's fate. I added a gun to Romeo's extended arm, and a vial of poison to Juliet's. Once the silhouette was completed (in Painter), I had to take it back into illustrator to clean up the edges, then began experimenting with color. After several attempts, and techniques, I ended up settling on a watercolor style for the color. Many passes later, I was satisfied with the blending, and the shades of colors I had chosen. Finally I added some 'stars' to the overall image to further push their 'star-crossed' status.
The image is entirely digital, done in Illustrator, Photoshop, and Painter.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this image prints are available on my Etsy store.