Emily | Portrait


Here's another assignment from last semester: a digitally painted portrait. Once again, the wonderfully willing Emily (actress) helped me out by becoming my model. There's a chance you'll remember her from past projects, including Race Against Time and The White Lady of Kinsale. I actually asked Emily to help me with this one in particular for a number of reasons, which influenced the overall look of this project.

Firstly, we met in secondary school, where we took art classes together. At that stage, Emily occasionally tried her hand at painting, and frequently leaned towards more abstract looks. For this reason, I built the portrait on a background of acrylic-style brushstrokes. I picked the sepia colour because Emily, like me, has a fondness for all things vintage (especially old film-memorabilia, I think), so I wanted to capture an old-film kind of look. I also added gold because Emily is always classy and elegant, so it seemed fitting. I also appreciated the connection to film awards such as the Golden Globes, which is another link to Emily's personality.

Emily's personality and our shared interests also influenced smaller details within the image. In school, we were always hopelessly ambitious (we still are, to be honest) and it was her ambition to become a part of the acting world, for instance, which inspired the film reel border. Because she is a self-professed coffee-connoisseur and tea-lover - and the fact that when we meet, either coffee or tea are generally involved at some stage - I added the coffee stains to the background. Finally, I added some French phrases in a scripted font for a few reasons. Emily and I shared language classes for many years, and we both share a love of travel. Emily, I believe, is particularly partial to capital cities, like London and Paris. We also both share a tendency to use elaborate handwriting wherever possible. And finally, Emily has a very distinctive way of speaking, which is usually pretty entertaining, so I wanted to include language in some way.

And so, the portrait above is a result inspired by the ever-lovely Emily (actress), to whom I am so, so grateful for! Below, you can see the original photograph I took of Emily for reference in all her Irish-sun-drenched glory.