Jody Hewgill
Before Midnight

The evening began with a phone call “are you available?” and ended before midnight with 21 knives strewn all over the place.
Ok , the less dramatic version: I didn’t even cut myself while I perched the blades for reference on my desk, which is at a 45 degree angle, all the while I thought this is probably a stupid idea that will end badly but I’m in a rush.
This illustration is for Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten 2013 issue, which is on the newsstands now.  For the number one movie chosen by film critic Chris Nashwaty; this is the third film from Richard Linklater’s trilogy about a romance and relationship that spans over 18 years (in real time).
a few good bits of reference.

Both Celine and Jesse riddled with bullets, a smoking gun on the table without a suggestion who is to blame. This could be a fun direction, but Kory and I agreed the gun was misleading.

All 3 films have many walking scenes with the couple engrossed in conversation. Here they would be walking among the metaphorical ruins. Celine becomes disengaged. ©Jody Hewgill

Preliminary sketch of the knives version. ©Jody Hewgill

The fight scene in this third film is a doozy, and I felt it is the pivotal point of the film. I wanted to use this conventional romantic scene of the couple sitting at a table by the Greek seaside but subverted it by including some knives protruding from Jesse's back and Céline's chest.
Kory and I discussed if the multiple knives from Jesse’s ( Ethan Hawke's) back were necessary, and I thought it would be fitting given how much Céline ( Julie Delpy) really tears into him, demeaning Jesse’s manhood, intelligence, his sexual and literary prowess, stating he is no Hemingway .
While I was working on the piece I suddenly remembered a bit of foreshadowing to the battle scene, with a kitchen knife stabbing remark made by another couple in an early scene in the film.
Tighter linear, more knives added, more space around the figures.

One of 4 colour variations I sent to Kory, this one was my fav. I was delighted he gave me the go ahead on this pink version.©Jody Hewgill

  A bit of serendipity in creating this composition; the placement of Céline and Jesse's figures make a heart shape. Balvis pointed this out to me after I had completed the sketch, so I purposely kept the figures all in a red palette to emphasize their union.
The final painting is 16"x 20" acrylic on gessoed masonite. ©Jody Hewgill

The final spread. Image provided by Entertainment Weekly.

A big thanks to Kory Kennedy for thinking of me for this super fun assignment. I loved painting Céline's deadpan expression with a knife protruding from her chest.

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