Friday, 11 January 2013

Duchess of Cambridge 12" x 16" oil

The first official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge unveiled today, by Paul Emsley.
In my humble opinion, it is an excellent copy of a photograph, which takes skill to achieve, and if photo-realism is to your liking then it is good, but it lacks life, vitality, soul. This has illustrated to me, beyond doubt, that portraits need to be painted from life. It's as though the artist has engaged with the photo but not the person. But what are we to do? Folk don't have the time or inclination to sit.
Having said that, my own sketch  was again painted from the TV.

1 comment:

L.W.Roth, said...

Here I was looking for your reaction to the Duchess's portrait and there you were writing about it.

I think it's an excellent portrait painted from a photograph. Wonderful eyes. I agree that I like a more painterly approach to portraiture, but painterly isn't "official." That style that we love so much--and can be achieved using reference photos, might be too casual for the future Queen? But only your opinion counts. This American nouveau portrait painter really has no opinions, as yet, on the finish of official portraits of state. I am a lover of gestural painting.