James Bond

James Bond might be one of the most iconic spy characters, possibly ever. The character was created by author Ian Flemming in 1953, who wrote a total of 12 novels and two short-story collections featuring the British Secret Service agent. After Flemming’s death an additional eight authors have written official James Bond novels.

Also known known by his code number 007, James Bond has featured in different mediums, possibly most notably will be the films. In total there are 25 films produced by the Eon production company, but there are also two non-Eon films, one of which was a parody.

As several people in my family are big fans of James Bond I decided that I wanted to paint the portraits actors who had portrayed 007 in a limited colour palette and the style I’ve been perfecting during 2020. And if you happen to be in the market for a portrait in this style, or have a project which requires an artist/illustrator, feel free to get in touch!

A stylised portrait of Sean Connery as James Bond. The image is painted digitally using only five colours, including white.

Sean Connery

Media: Digital.

The first actor to portray James Bond was Sean Connery who played him in six Eon films, and one of the non-Eon productions. Additionally, he is also the only actor to play the character in films after other actors have taken up the James Bond mantle. He portrayed 007 in 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever”, after George Lazenby, and again in 1983’s “Never Say Never Again”, the same year “Octopussy” was released featuring Roger Moore as James Bond.

A digital portrait of George Lazenby portraying James Bond. The image is painted using only six colours, including white.

George Lazenby

Media: Digital.

Unlike the other actors, George Lazenby only played James Bond in one film, namely 1969’s “Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. The film was his first leading role, and in fact first film ever, and prior to its release he stated he did not wish to play James Bond again.

A stylised portrait of Roger Moore cast as James Bond. The image is painted using only seven colours, including white.

Roger Moore

Media: Digital.

If we only count the Eon produced films, Roger Moore is the longest serving actor portraying James Bond with seven films from 1973 to 1985. The list includes 1973s “Live And Let Die”, 1974’s “The Man With The Golden Gun” and 1979’s “Moonraker” to mention a few.

A stylised portrait of Timothy Dalton as James Bond. The image is painted using only six colours, including white.

Timothy Dalton

Media: Digital.

Dalton only took up the James Bond mantle in two films, namely 1987’s “The Living Daylights” and 1989’s “Licence To Kill”. He took a slightly different approach to the character than his predecessor, as he wanted to bring the seriousness of the character which was found in the original novels. This had mixed reviews, the fans of Flemming’s original novels welcomed the seriousness, while others criticised the performance for lacking in humour.

A digital portrait of Pierce Brosnan cast as James Bond. The image is painted in a limited colour palette using only seven colours, including white.

Pierce Brosnan

Media: Digital.

After almost six years without any new Bond films, due to legal disputes, Pierce Brosnan starred in 1995’s “GoldenEye”. The film also brought the character to a younger audience with the release of the GoldenEye video game which released on Nintendo 64 in 1997. He reprised the role for another three James Bond films, ending with the 2002 “Die Another Day”.

Brosnan was actually offered the role of James Bond in 1986, after the show he starred in, Remington Steele, was cancelled by NBC. However, after the offer was revealed interest for the show picked back up to the point where NBC decided to to renew the show after all. Pierce Brosnan was contractually obliged to return to the show, resulting in him having to turn down the role.

A stylised portrait Daniel Craig cast as James Bond. The image is painted digitally using only seven colours, including white.

Daniel Craig

Media: Digital.

Since 2006 James Bond has been portrayed by Daniel Craig, who has starred in four 007 films, and with a fifth film, “No Time To Die”, due out in 2021. His portrayal of Bond is serious, but Craig also wanted to bring more emotional depth to the character. The casting also caused a bit of controversy as some mean he doesn’t fit the tall and dark-haired Bond people were used to though the previous five actors. That said all previous five actors have voiced their approval of the casting.