Many years ago I enjoyed painting portraits. Painting? well, I used pastels and sometimes charcoal. So I thought I would like to revisit portraits. However, I have been putting it off and putting it off, I think because I was worried it was going to be appalling, and I would have to accept I couldn’t draw anymore.
So here is my very first portrait in, to be fair, I have to say in over 30 years. It is also fair to say it wasn’t appalling. I can see so many places where I should have done better, but as a ‘getting back on the bike’ attempt, I am happy enough with it.
Many thanks for the photo on Unsplash from Rachel McDermott (On Instagram ).
So in the past, when I drew, it was before the internet. (Yes, there was life before the internet lol). I cannot remember how I figured it all out, or where I got all my supplies from? I have a vague recollection of an art shop, but it was a long way from where I was living. And I remember going to the library regularly to borrow books. I also remember belonging to an art book club, you would pay a subscription each month and would be sent a random selection of art books. How Amazon has changed our lives!
I did try to go to night school for a while, but there was a teacher who would keep criticising and trying to change my style, and when he had an exhibition, I remember thinking, “I don’t like your stuff so, why would I take your advice?”. Over the years, I have to say I have had some bad experiences with some teachers. However, the result was positive, in that it made me a very patient and quite sensitive teacher when I started teaching.
So I thought I would add a few of my old pictures here. I have to say at least one of them ended up covered in little mould spots. But, thank you ‘healing tool’ in photoshop, it looks ok on screen now. (spots are still there in real life of course).
These are both in charcoal. The one on the right was my mother as a child. It was only when I drew this that I realised how much I looked like my mother (at that age). And as I get older I can see her again in my face. In fact when I was about 12, people would stop me in the street (we lived in a village) and ask if I was her daughter. It used to really freak me out.
This was pencil, and I drew it when I was living abroad, feeling a bit lonely, sat in my bedroom. It was from a photo in a magazine. It is probably the last thing I drew for many years.
Pastels. The one on the right is John Gielgud. I remember it was from a small picture in a magazine, I would never do that now lol.
So, there you have it, my portrait history.