Thursday, 13 November 2014

Portrait Of Emma.

I have painted this portrait of Emma from a photo. I found it quite difficult to do the initial drawing because her head is at an unusual angle, not only three-quarter face,
but her head is down too. Many artists would struggle with this. I know this because I read it somewhere.
Emma And The Red Telephone. By John Bain
Oil on canvas.
Click to enlarge
The other difficulty was that whenever I see Emma she is usually smiling and she has the most beautiful eyes. Neither of which is in this portrait.
I actually find it easier to paint eyes open than closed. Funny that, but true.
Did you know that most artists find it difficult to paint a profile portrait? I read that somewhere too, but also know it from experience. But it is good to have a challenge.
You can see how I struggled by looking at the white canvas. In the end I gave up and made a grid on the photo. This is something I only do on rare occasions. It did help. I ought to do it more often, but it feels a bit like cheating to me. I know a lot of artists use the grid method, but I do pride myself on my freehand drawing.
I like the finished result here but more importantly Emma likes it too.


  1. John, this is a remarkable portrait --beautifully done. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Wow, I think this is a masterpiece. Really, really good.

  3. My mother used to say that portraits are the most difficult to draw (she liked working in charcoals). You captured this young woman beautifully. No wonder she liked the painting.

  4. Beautifully done! You do portraits very well and I loved the recent one of Mia too.

  5. This is a really beautiful portrait. Glad Emma likes it!

  6. John, it is a wonderful painting. No-one would know you had any sort of problem whilst painting it. I hope you display it somewhere where the world can see it. Or will you sell it?

  7. Thank you Valerie. Emma likes the painting so I shall give it to her as a gift.

  8. Very nice portrait of Emma....well done John.
    The sense of accomplishment after struggling with a hard task is one to be treasured.

  9. I agree with previous commenters.... very nice. I've tried to do portraits too, it's really difficult!