• Carol Burns


My new year has started with a portrait! Now, those of you who have been following me for a while will know that this is a subject matter I tend to avoid. My 'shit committee' (the voices that live in my head and tell me that what I'm working on is shit) jump around with glee when I attempt portraits. They say things like 'What if it doesn't look like the person you are trying to draw?' or 'What if it looks like them but they don't think they look like that?' as well as other less than helpful comments and so I tend to avoid them at all costs! But not this year. Oh no. This year I'm going to tackle portraits like a boss! I started with this one. I created it as a birthday gift for my lovely friend Caroline who had mentioned, on more than one occassion, that she loved the style of my self portrait. I wanted to surprise her because she is lovely and supportive...and did I mention that she's lovely?

I was really pleased with how it turned out and it does look like her! (Although she is much prettier in real life!) If you want to attempt your own portrait I would recommend you get the clearest possible photograph of the person you want to draw (if you're working from a photo and not life) and that you try to work from one image only. (Stupidly, I worked from three different pictures which was really challenging and meant that I spent two days with my friend pulling faces at me from my drawing board!). Normally I draw freehand but because portraits are relatively new to me, and I was not aiming for a picasso, I decided to use a grid to help me make sure I got all the features in the right place. I downloaded #grid from the App Store and found it really useful when it came to checking that everything was where it should be. Caroline's comment - 'How lucky am I to have a super talented artist as a friend? This is my birthday present from her. I LOVE it! Thank you. xx'


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