Before I start to make a portrait I arrange, if possible, to spend around half an hour to an hour with the person who is to be the subject of the portrait. I use this time to take reference photographs to work from and (if the portraits are of children) to talk to them about their interests, favourite playthings, games, cuddly toys, pets, books and television programmes etc. I incorporate as many of these elements as possible into their portrait, along with their names and birthdays. Adult subjects may have photos, objects, letters, poetry, and other memorabilia that they would like included. This way I aim to make the portrait as personal and reflective of a particular time in the subject’s life as possible.
Instead of using paint, I build up my portraits with layers of collaged paper. The images evolve as I juxtapose the contrasting textures, patterns, lettering and words that appear in the process of building a likeness of the subject.
This way of building a portrait takes time and I would aim for a portrait of a single person to be delivered around three to four months after meeting and photographing them. A double portrait would take around six months.
I can also work from reference photos taken by someone else, if it is not possible for me to meet the subject of the portrait for any reason.
Please contact me if you would like any more information about commissioning a portrait.