TR25 Box Art Reimagining: The Angel of Darkness by Stephanie Rew
Dec 18, 2021
Our month celebrating The Angel of Darkness may have come and gone, but we’re finally ready to share a very special box art reimagining with you all! (And frankly, there’s never a bad time to revisit The Angel of Darkness.)
Unlike our previous, primarily digital reimaginings, artist Stephanie Rew is an Edinburgh-based figurative painter who paints in gold leaf, which is gold that has been hammered into thin sheets before being applied to surfaces in a process called “gold leafing.” We knew this signature style would lend itself perfectly to The Angel of Darkness’ gothic aesthetic. Brother Obscura has nothing on Stephanie Rew!
“Pattern, colour and texture of textiles and costume are intrinsic to my work, giving the painting a tactile and dramatic element, placing the model in a timeless era. Tone and form as well as strong light and colour is important to me, as I concentrate on the relationship between tonality and texture whilst keeping a private, reflective mood with the work,” explains Stephanie.
“I am interested in the historical element of art and theatrical costume has always been a favoured theme, and have been using couture garments along with the kimono to add drama and design to my art. Recently I have been incorporating gold leaf into my work, exploring the relationship between the decorative reflective gold leaf surface and a fully rendered oil painting. The design and pattern of the surface and textiles have become an important part of my painted compositions.
“Ideas for my paintings usually come to me instinctively as finished images in my mind, this means the work has no distinct narrative. That I leave to the viewer to create for themselves.”
Check out the reimagined box art below, including versions for desktop and mobile on Flickr. We’ve versioned this stunning piece into several different formats for you to choose from, as the piece is even more stunning when you see the delicate details.
“When I was first approached to make this 25th anniversary artwork for Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, I felt the work needed to have the look of an icon. This stage in Lara’s story is a darker one and I felt that the fallen angel motif fitted the design perfectly,” Rew continued.
“I began by engraving the game’s symbol into the gesso before adding raised texture to define the cogs and wheels. I then laid 24ct gold leaf on top of the pattern and polished the gold to reveal the design. I added more detail with a jewellers’ punch and dry brush to create illusion of movement.
“I then started painting the figure in oil. The portrait of Lara was a challenge, as painting a fictional character is very different from painting a model. I wanted her to look like the original Lara, with the wide set eyes and angular face, so a lot of tweaking went on to find the balance between a traditional oil portrait and a digital one. I added the black wings last and used blackbird wings as reference. I wanted to create the feeling of flight so added some loose feathers.
“The final designs of the symbol are painted in 24ct shell gold. The pattern surrounds her and begins to consume the whole figure, signifying the fusion between the game and the hero.
“I am honoured to create this work of art for Crystal Dynamics to celebrate 25 years of Tomb Raider, as I loved playing it when it first was released. She has come a long way since then.”
if you’ve been keeping up with our art reveals, there are four pieces still to be revealed: Rise of the Tomb Raider (originally planned for this month, but needs a bit more time!), Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, and Tomb Raider Reloaded.
All four remaining pieces will be revealed by the end of January, in preparation for our print sale that will benefit Girls Make Games. More information on the sale in the new year!
About Stephanie Rew
Stephanie Rew (b 1971) is a Scottish painter based in Edinburgh, UK. Her highly detailed figurative paintings are in collections across the UK and Europe and she is gaining considerable international interest in her work.
Stephanie won the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Bursary soon after graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and since then has had numerous exhibitions in the UK. She curated the first Women Painting Women Exhibition in the UK as part of the WPW (R) evolution movement in 2013. She won the ‘Best Nude’ Award in 2018 and the FWSD Award in 2019 in Art Renewal Centre Salon, is a finalist in the ModPortrait17 and ModPortrait19 Award held in Spain.
She was a finalist at the Scottish Portrait Award 2017 and has exhibited at MEAM Barcelona in both ‘Women Painting’ exhibitions held in 2019/2020 to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Her painting ‘Narcissus’ won the People’s Choice Award in the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine Competition 2021.
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