Unlike abstract paintings, working with pencil I find more controlled, more methodical, and possibly a little bit calmer to when working through the process.
It always amazes me that with just pencil, you can create so much depth, light, dark and texture in a piece. Its monochrome tone is again another highlight of using this medium. I love the simplicity of the lead colour and it works so well with portraits - cementing the people, stories and memories into the paper. Permanent, to treasure forever.
When I’m asked to produce portraits, there is always a story behind it. As we all do, memories of those we love that we’ve lost are important to us, so when I’m asked to do pieces I genuinely feel touched that I am producing these for those who can treasure something of an important time in their life, an important memory, or person. It really touches my heart that I can give this to them as a permanent keepsake.
I thought I’d share a few of those I have produced.
The first I’d like to share was of a girl and her horse. Tragically, her horse died. He was her life and she was heartbroken when he passed away. I was asked by her mum if I would produce this for her, to give to her daughter for Christmas.
The image was taken from a photo reference of her in the stable with her horse, where she spent most of her time. I used Winsor and Newton pencils and 175gsm quality paper, and to get the effect I like I use a putty rubber to build areas of light and shade into the pieces.
“I had a beautiful portrait done by Ellie of my daughter and her horse. It’s a surprise Christmas present. I would recommend Ellie to anyone. Her work is amazing.” Charlotte.
If you would like to explore more pictures and information on this portrait and others, please my portraits page where I've shared a few more examples. And please do get in touch if you would like to discuss a portrait personal tot you.
Another portrait, which was also such a pleasure to produce, was one of four children. I was asked to produce this one also from a photo reference of all the children together.
It was interesting bringing all the different features out of each of the children and again it always amazes me that with depth, shade and light you start to see a nose, or the details in the eye, or the different areas of the ear, cheek etc… I think it is very easy to look at a portrait and see the features of a face. To our naked eye, we know what a nose looks like, where eyes should be etc, but to draw them, we need to explore and observe the lines, curves, the shadow, light and dark areas that become those features, and then transfer this into the drawing.
It is always such an honour and I feel so humbled when I am asked to create these portraits. Behind then, there is story, a memory, a moment in time that can be treasured forever as a piece of art.
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