Everyone knows what a Robert Pattinson look like. The famous actor has been in the public eye for years, having graced the big and small screens with his engaging on-screen persona. But, did you know that he is also a talented artist? Since childhood, he has been passionate about drawing and painting. Now, as an adult, he explores this side of his creative personality in a series of charming, seascape paintings. Most recently, Pattinson sported a striking orange beard for his role in the upcoming film, Outlaw King (read on for more). While in Belfast, Northern Ireland, filming the movie mid-April, he shared some of his working methods and showcased some of his paintings.

The Painting Process

Pattinson began by sketching his ideas on a piece of paper, which he then transferred to canvas using a compass and ruler. He next laid down the basic colors, followed by a light layer of paint using a brush or his fingers. The final step was to add small details like trees, rocks, or buildings. When asked how he felt about the finished product, he replied with a smile, “It was a lot of fun.”

The Film Set

Pattinson chose to film the movie in Northern Ireland because of the magnificent scenery. He explained, “I wanted to shoot a film in a place that had some of the most stunning scenery in the world.” But, did you know that he also went on a treat himself trip to Belfast to scope out the locations? While traveling around the city, he even bought a bus ticket just to get a closer look at some of the places his characters visited in the film. So, as an avid traveler, he had a good reason other than just the stunning scenery for visiting Belfast.

The Characters He Portrays

Pattinson said that one of the reasons he opted to visit Belfast was to see how he could bring his character, King Robert the Third, to life. He elaborates, “[King Robert] is a composite of lots of different people. I wanted to paint myself in a way that reflected the character I was playing. So, I began to do research, looking at old photographs and paintings of King Robert.” He continued, “I was able to use my existing orange beard as a basis for my character’s beard, then added some of the details that made him unique. When it comes to the costumes, I tried to keep them as historically accurate as possible. When it comes to painting history, you can go too far sometimes, but in this case, I think that it’s important to keep some of the period details. It makes it easier to connect to your audience if they can picture what you’re talking about.”

A Brief History Of Beards

Before we continue, let’s take a quick trip down beard history lane. Most would argue that the full beard is a uniquely British trait. It was Queen Victoria who is usually credited with starting the trend in the 19th century. During that time period, most full beards were inspired by the Pirate franchise. The male actors on-screen at the time were typically clean shaven. However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century when film studios started to allow their artists to grow full beards. Walt Disney’s Snow White and Arthur Merriwether’s Pocahontas are considered to be the pioneers of the bearded film star. Since then, beards have been growing in popularity across the globe. In fact, many bearded celebrities have become famous solely because of their impressive facial hair (i.e. King George, Chewbacca, and Yoda).

Why Paintings Of Beards Have Surged In Popularity

While some may still associate beards with pirates and scoundrels, the truth is that the humble beard has much deeper symbolism. Let’s examine this further.

A Touch Of Class

Pattinson’s paintings of beards not only serve as a tool for the actor to explore his creative side but they are also an excellent example of how effective facial hair can be in conveying class. His paintings accurately depict how beards can add a touch of elegance to your face (similar to the way a well-groomed mustache can accentuate the aristocratic qualities of a man). It is no wonder that many men have begun to associate beards with sophistication and culture. That’s not all the art serves though. As we mentioned before, the Pirate pirates were usually clean shaven back in the day. However, there is also a less famous anecdote about the buccaneers and beards. It is said that they would frequently use a sabretooth to slice the windpipe of their victims, thus symbolically slicing through the social barriers that kept the classes apart. While this may be tall tale bordering on fable, it does illustrate the unpredictable and sanguinary nature of the infamous Sea Heroes!

An Evolutionary Trajectory

Pattinson’s artistic exploration of beards doesn’t just stop at portraits. He has also begun to experiment with landscapes, seascapes, and still lifes, all of which feature prominently in the exhibition. As he put it, “I’m really interested in how facial hair can transform a person. It can be a complete makeover. And that’s what I love about it; you can reinvent yourself. You can evolve as a person.”

An Unexpected Inspiration

While on the subject of art and artists, let’s not forget about the unexpected source of inspiration that Pattinson drew from. As he explained, “I was in a really good mood when I was painting, so I began doodling on a piece of paper. One of the things that came out was this lighthouse. It was all done with my left hand, so it was quite a challenge!” The piece of drawing paper then inspired him to paint a seascape, which in turn, served as a source of creative inspiration for the entire project. We couldn’t think of a better way to end this article than with that last line. Sometimes, a picture can speak a thousand words. In this case, the picture is also the word.