A reluctant model

Posted on November 30, 2017

Some people feel uncomfortable at the thought of a portrait of themselves.

‘I don’t look good in profile’ ‘My nose is too big’ ‘Please make me thinner’ ….

My current subject was a bit like that. She didn’t want a painting of herself  ‘Can you paint my daughter instead?’ she pleaded. ‘No, I want to paint you.’ I replied. I can be firm sometimes!

Eventually I was able to convince her to give me 2 minutes of her time for a few photos. Usually I take over 100 shots on my mobile and choose the one that speaks to me. This time round I had 6 photos, two poses: side on or front facing. This particular person also constantly smiles, so having a non-smiley picture (as required for a portrait), was also tricky. But luckily I found something to work with.

This is the beginning – it could also be the end- but I want to add some colour as the woman in question is a very colourful soul. It’s done using a watercolour pencil which I then work into with water to soften and add tone.

I happened to show this drawing to a few people who had never met the person in question.

‘What do you see in this?’ I asked?

‘Strong, focused…is she a business woman?’ came the reply.

If you know Tracey, Creator of the hugely successful Introbiz (business network) you will know how accurate that is. This image just flowed. Maybe because I started it after a few hours of painting or maybe because it needed to be drawn.

I really like it, it seems to capture something of a woman who is always busy and has little time for herself or to reflect. I’m hoping this portrait acts as a mirror for her so she can see the all the wonderfulness that she is. Daughters will have their time- as Mothers we have to celebrate ourselves too!

I shall keep you posted as this painting develops.


Portrait commissions welcome. Email me here to discuss.

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