Rosina: “Is she pretty?”
Figaro: “Oh, pretty indeed-I’ll tell you in two words. Slender, graceful, lovely, black-haired, rosy-cheeked, eyes that speak, an enchanting hand”
Rosina: “And her name?”
Figaro: “Ah, her name too? Her name?-Ah a lovely name!- She’s called-”
Rosina: “Well then? She’s called?”
Figaro: “Poor little one! She’s called Ro-ro-ro-si-na–Rosina.”
(-Il Barbiere di Siviglia)
Rosina is the sprightly heroine from one of Rossini’s (probably the) most famous operas. She is only a girl, but very clever, determined, and beautiful. Cooped up by her aged guardian who intends to marry her large dowry–I mean, her, she is followed to Seville by a young nobleman who is smitten. He serenades her, enlists the help of the town barber, and when Rosina makes up her mind to marry him, the drama takes off!
The description was nicely provided in the opera libretto, my main focus was capturing her confidence.
Here’s the sketch I began with.
They’re always scary at this stage!
I could already tell that she was going to be pretty, everyone else withheld judgement until she looked less like a zombie:)
Pupils make quite a difference!
I’ve really discovered how important the complexion is! After the face is given depth and structure, I use light washes of red and white to lighten and unify the face. At this point, I realize that the neckline and torso are all wrong.
I spent hours painting lace! At this point, I went over the painting, measuring her features for symmetry. She was alarmingly lopsided, as I soon discovered!
Much better! The background took a lot of attention to detail. I researched architecture in Seville and did my best! I was very uncertain about adding her necklace, but I’m glad I did. Rosina is a very wealthy young lady, and it seemed fitting.
Here is the final result. I am very pleased with her! Are you familiar with the opera? If you’ve ever seen any cartoons or advertisements, you’ve probably heard at least one selection from it!