Today has been my first venture into a pastel portrait of someone else (other than me). Against all advice in the books, I chose my lovely Mum. Partly this was because I had the opportunity to photograph her when others were coy, and partly because I really wanted the chance to make a very close study of her.
Of course, we think we know people’s faces, and on one level we do. But I hadn’t realised how much detail there is in a well-known face that we just take for granted – the curve of a smile, the shape of a nose. I know it’s been said before, but trying to put that down on paper totally changes the way I’m looking at faces. This was no exception.
The end result isn’t perfect, as anyone who knows my Mum will testify. But I think there’s enough of a likeness there for her to be recognised by this portrait, and I feel that’s a step forward for me.