What Really Goes Into Each Portrait

The question I get asked the most whenever people see my work is “How long did that take you?”

Which is a fair question. Generally my work takes anywhere from 16 – 50 hours for a large portrait. On average I spend about 30 hours with each portrait depending on how easily it comes. Some portraits are a real challenge and often I’ll start those ones again as I am often learning something valuable in the process.

This doesn’t include the time searching and pouring over the perfect reference photo, preparing my materials and also prepping myself mentally for what I’m about to embark on. All of these hours spread out over weeks or sometimes months while I create a single drawing.

I have also spent a lot of time perfecting my craft, learning, experimenting, giving up, taking it back up and growing from every drawing over the years. You will never truely see all the thousands of artworks that an artist will go through to get to where they are now. I find it hard to look at some of my early work but it serves as a reminder of how far I have come and how much I have learnt.

I never really see any of my work standing alone, when I look at a drawing of mine I see all the years of experimentation and practice and sometimes frustration that came before and has contributed to what it is now.

Nothing makes me happier than creating something that is of the highest quality standard, created with the best paper and materials from beautiful makers all over the world.

There is so much that goes into each and every artwork. As well as the physical materials, the time and experience, there is the spiritual aspect of who I am and what I believe in.

I spend a long time with each artwork, it is my hope and prayer that these artworks carry with them a strong sense of my personality and presence.

Have a question? Comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Love, Carly x

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