How I became a Portrait Artist

I have always loved drawing and drawn all my life but failed miserably at art in school – I don’t like paint brushes!  So after painting horrors I’ve always stuck to plain old pencil.  It’s been my life’s ambition to draw people but I never had the belief that I could.  Over the years I’ve tried numerous times but never really nailed it!

That is, until one Sunday in September 5 years ago when I woke up early determined to draw some cartoon characters for a maths game I was making (I used to be a teacher).  I found a random image on the internet and  ‘had a go’ I failed at drawing a cartoon but to my absolute joy I had drawn a realistic face!  All my years of practice had finally paid off and I haven’t looked back since.

 

 

That was in 2012 and for 4 years after I kept drawing in pencil – I was happy and I was starting to get commissions.

 

 

 

 

Then Christmas 2015 my sister gave me 6 pastel pencils.  She said “I thought you could colour them in”  I laughed so much but did so straight away in a tongue and cheek kind of way.   She was encouraging  and so I did a very childish drawing of a girl to prove to her that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and why on earth did she think I could do anything with them!  But, she was again very encouraging and believed in me.  (You can see for yourself that it wasn’t very good!)  All this encouragement was enough to spark my interest and have a serious attempt at using pastel.

 

That was 2 years ago and I haven’t looked back since! I’m totally in love with the qualities pastel pencils and pastel sticks can bring to my work, it’s the perfect medium for people and animal portraits.

I’ve had such a varied career from Glassblower to Design Engineer to Teacher to Artist and I really feel that I’ve come home to where I started – just a dream I thought I would never achieve – but making a dream a goal turns it into reality.   Today I’m a professional artist with an order book of portrait commissions.  My next goal is to start tutoring and demonstrating.  I have dyslexia and there is an assumption that ‘we’ are naturally gifted in art and to some extent I am but it has also taken a lot of practice, persistence, encouragement and belief in myself and from others.

My first serious attempts at using pastel:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out what happened next by reading about the Portrait of My Son

Find out how to commission a portrait with me here and you are welcome to phone me for an informal chat about your portrait. Tel: 07740 282399