Detail of portrait of my Mum (d. 19/02/2015)
Now and then, I switch from painting in Abstraction to Portraiture and Genré. I only work in oils. I love portraiture because it takes a completely different discipline technically. It sharpens me up. A portrait demands a lot of observation and skill and inevitably of course it has to be a very good likeness as well as incorporating my own unique style. In the studio or agreed setting I take a lot of photographs of the sitter from all angles. I study the hundreds of the images and then I choose just a handful to work up into sketches. I then make a selection again and eventually settle on the final pose. A portrait takes weeks sometimes months and its a strange old thing... it always has a point where it suddenly takes on a life of its own and I know thats when to stop! The person sort of looks back at me. Its a thrilling and very satisfying experience.
Unless money is thrown at me, I only paint exceptional people I like.