Portrait Party

This morning I went to a portrait party organised by Reading Urban Sketchers. Nine of us gathered together, sat in a circle, and took turns to pose for 10 minutes while everyone else sketched and painted.

10 minutes goes in the blink of an eye when you’re trying to capture some sort of likeness of a person on paper. 10 minutes stretches into hours when you’re sitting still and trying to ignore an itchy nose!

At the end of around two hours everyone had completed eight portraits and everyone had been drawn by eight other people. Furniture was moved and we managed to lay them all out on the floor so that each column was drawn by a single person and each row was all the portraits of a single person.

Some of us stuck to one technique or material throughout and some mixed it up a bit and tried out different approaches.

Everyone then took home the portraits of themselves. Here are all the lovely drawings of me curated in my high-tech gallery-quality display set up. I love them all!:

It’s interesting how no one image in particular looks perfectly like me but all of them together is definitely me. It’s as if my brain is taking features from each and piecing together a single representation. But it’s better than just one perfect image because here you have different angles and slightly different expressions. The result is more like a little animation than a still image.

And here are the eight portraits I completed today. I worked in pencil (0.9mm technical pencil and a giant graphite stick) and minimalist watercolour throughout:

I’d certainly be up for doing this again sometime and I think most people agreed. It was an intense morning but very rewarding and fun. Also, there were biscuits :)

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