Portraiture, the time-honoured way of preserving the memory of someone who is loved or respected, has in recent times enjoyed something of a comeback. A good portrait, because it conveys the observations of a skilled artist of their subject over time, captures something of the character and spirit of a person.
For an artist portraiture is challenging but very rewarding. One of the greatest thrills is when the portrait suddenly transcends globs of paint and “becomes alive”.
For the sitter, once over the initial few minutes of feeling posed and stared at, sitting becomes quite enjoyable with opportunities to chat, listen to music or simply having a chance to relax. I always spend quite some time getting to know my sitter before deciding on the pose, lighting and background, etc and taking reference photos.
I work from both my photos and from life and like to finish off the face and hands from life. Each sitting lasts about three hours.
I believe I have been able to paint honest portraits that are good likenesses and yet have been able to find and convey something of the inner beauty of each person I have painted.