Portrait of Ella, the artist's Granddaughter. Oil on panel 16x14 inches 2014
Artist's note: I enjoy painting portraits as an alternative to still life for obvious reasons. Trying to bring a person's personality 'alive' is sometimes a real challenge and that is why it is important to have the full co-operation and enthusiasm
of the sitter. Sittings can be as long as two hours and sitting still for that amount of time can be hard work and sometimes inconvenient. That is where photography can be very useful. My studies of Rembrandt and Frans Hals have helped me with my technique
and to achieving the vitality of the sitter. Each portrait is unique from any other and so is worth all the effort in trying to achieve a good likeness and showing the 'real' personality. As mentioned, photography is widely used these days to speed up the
process of portrait painting. That doesn't mean a facsimile of the photograph, what it does mean is that in addition to one or two sittings, the painting can be worked on without the necessity of the sitter being there. Of course having the real person sitting
is the best option but this can be both time consuming and inconvenient. Photographs can also help establish a good composition and pose.