For my portrait, I chose to focus on the idea of vanitas paintings and the motif of memento mori as it relates to traditional portraiture. With this as my basis, I decided to portray the narrative of the character Annie Leonhart from the series Attack on Titan. Able to transform into a gigantic humanoid, Annie is a morally gray character who infiltrates a human settlement in order to capture the series’s protagonist. Here she is seen encased in crystal after being captured and her motivations found out. The second picture is her titan form, which will be integrated as noted later in this post. To bring a necessary realism to the portrait, I will use the model in the third picture as a basis for Annie’s facial structure and slightly edit it to closer resemble her.
My plan for the painting’s composition revolves around a centered waist-up view of Annie, with her face halfway transformed (in a smooth rather than abrupt way similar to the below picture) into her titan form. Her eyes will be closed, and she will be wearing her Military Police uniform.
The portrait will contain imagery relating to the concept of vanitas, the first piece being a crystal skull that she will be holding in her hands in a position similar to the one shown below. The skull will represent her comatose state in which she is not truly dead, but has failed her mission—a fate worse than death in her eyes. On top of the skull will be a nearly burnt out red candle that is just beginning to let off smoke as it nears its end; wax falls down the skull, pooling in the eyes and creating ‘tears’ of wax down its cheekbone.
Coming from behind Annie and bordering her, I will paint three types of flowers (pictured below) that reflect aspects of her character as the primary antagonist of one of Attack on Titan's main story arcs. The background will most likely be a somewhat uneven pale- to dark-olive color, to call attention to the red wax and the musculature of Annie's titan form, as well as providing a somewhat natural color for the flowers to sprout from.
CYCLAMEN - Resignation and Good-bye
ORANGE MOCK - Deceit
MONKSHOOD - Beware; A Deadly Foe is Near
(Sources linked below the two art pieces to be used as reference.)