Sep 21

The Queen.

I started a massive drawing of Queen Elizabeth about 3 years ago after watching Elizabeth the film on Netflix. I know it’s merely a 2 hour film summarizing the life of a very complex woman with a 44 year reign, but I loved Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of the Virgin Queen. Her life story was riveting and her personality ambitious, harsh, and utterly relatable. ;-)

I worked on this drawing very sporadically between 2008 and 2010, and decided last week that she had been sitting in my living room without a face and without appendages for far too long. I have no idea where I mustered the motivation and stamina, but I drew non-stop for the last 3 days (18 hours on Monday alone), and I’m relieved to be done. This is my most ambitious 2 dimensional piece to date. I think my arm might fall off.

pin it!

pin it!

pin it!

pin it!

pin it!

pin it!

pin it!

Posted by Jen at 7:13 pm


  1. neelima says:

    This is ridiculous! Totally amazing. Don’t fail to mention that it’s intentional that the queen is depicted as Frida Kahlo!

  2. OUTSTANDING! Absolutely incredible!

  3. Juan Doe says:


  4. adam s. says:

    you better keep this forever…this is amazing to no extent.when you die(which, now could be soon) i want it!

  5. Chi says:

    yay you finished it!! looks beautiful! i want it too!

  6. natasha says:

    you are so talented miss jen chu. wow. just WOW. I remember when that thing was just sketchings!

  7. I’m so glad you finally finished it! I feel honored that I got to see it when it was in process. I’m so happy for you Jen!

  8. Wendy says:

    The uber-canvas is complete! You seriously rocked it. I love the frida kahlo take on Elizabeth : )

  9. Paola says:

    ahhhhhmazeing! frida!

  10. Amy says:

    Wow.. thats amazing jen. I love IT!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is really spectacular work I am floored by the detail.

    Will this remain in your personal collection or should we get the people from Sotheby’s & Christie’s on the phone?

    PS what made you put a monkey in the background?

    It’s so random and so adorable!

  12. Jen Chu says:


    I’d consider letting it go for the right price, but after 3 years and 85 hours, it’s a milestone for me so it will most likely remain in my private collection.

    Frida often painted monkeys in her self portraits. In Mexican mythology they are symbols of lust, but Frida portrayed them as tender and protective symbols.

  13. Deidre James says:

    Breathtaking! What an amazing piece. COngrats on completing it :-)

  14. Andrew says:

    Well done Jen. This is fantastic. When I saw the email titled queen i knew immediately that it would be about this portrait. I’m happy to see that it was a report of its completion. really impressive.

  15. Mae says:

    Wonderful…I just spent the afternoon at the Art Museum in Detroit (DIA), looking at Diego Rivera’s mural and remarking on how much I love the work of his wife Frida Kahlo. I almost bought a book that had photos of her work. You did a really nice job!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    That’s some serious drawing!

  17. jana says:

    wow wow! I´m in awe, it´s great! You should put this on some significant place in your home.

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