My first of two Billie Holiday portraits commissioned by a friend. This was done entirely in GIMP with my new best friend, the Huion H420 graphics tablet. My other best friend, the alpha channel, made it possible to pile semi-transparent layers over a background made of layered text (lyrics from two of her songs, Strange Fruit and Mean to Me.)
Before I began, I did some reading about Billie Holiday’s life to gain insight into the emotion I should put into this work. I listened to her music and chose these songs because of their difficult subject matter. My hope was that those emotions would come through even though the lyrics are illegible at this point.