Heatherleys: portrait of one of my favourite models

Pauline is one of my favourite models at Heatherleys.  It's more than the thrill, as a white person, of learning to paint black skin, with its palette that embraces the mauves.  Pauline has beautiful bone structure and a friendly personality and the whole class enjoyed the experience of taking it in turns to paint her eye-to-eye. 

Eye contact with your sitter creates an intimate connection

It’s a very intimate process, sitting close to your subject, looking intently at the model’s face and the model returning your gaze. 

Pauline Heatherleys model oil on canvas portrait artwork by Stella Tooth.

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A surprise in store

Pauline's yellow ribbon was a joy to paint too.  But, at the end of our first session, Pauline astonished us all by pulling off what we had assumed to be her own hair to reveal her close-cropped afro hair!  After the shock of the reveal we all agreed she looked even better without the wig and so our tutor has booked her in for later sessions where we can paint her with neck and head shape fully exposed.

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