My Covid Portraits: Portraits by Nathalie Titterton - Review By Kerrie Portman

  Posted: 06.01.22 at 19:55 by Kerrie Portman

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My Covid Portraits: Portraits by Nathalie Titterton Review By Kerrie Portman

Fifty-two A3 graphite pencil portraits, originally birthed from a New Year’s Resolution to draw a portrait of a friend or family member every week of the year, now hang in The Arches in North Hertfordshire Museum until Sunday, January 9.

“Never done a portrait in my life, let alone
fifty-two,”
writes artist Nathalie Titterton on the exhibition information panel. “I did not realise at the time how ambitious the project was, and how frustrating it was going to be sometimes.”

As such, the 2019 New Year’s Resolution turned into a two-year project, encompassing 2020, and helped her to keep focused and sane, and most of all it gave her some sort of connection, during the pandemic, to my friends and family. Always to keep in touch.

All fifty-two portraits are in the same realistic greyscale style, the subject framed from the shoulders up in the centre of the page.

The cohesion of style, colour and framing create an all-the-more striking scene when walking into The Arches.

But within the surface uniformity, each portrait blooms with personality, uniqueness and character.

A challenging line to walk.

There is an expert combination of detail and smudging within the portraits, especially the hair and glasses. Titterton manages to capture the subtle reflection of the
lenses.

This skill extends to the tone, shade and blending of the skin, creating a realistic illusion of depth, as though the subject could just step out of the paper into the 3D world.

As a portrait artist myself, I am especially awe-struck by the realism of the teeth, which I’ve always struggled most with.

Another impressive part of the portraits is the eyes.

Alberto Giacometti was famously fascinated by the idea of a person’s character lying within their eyes, concentrating most of his time on a portrait on capturing the eyes correctly.

‘My Covid Portraits’ by Nathalie Titterton will be in The Arches in the North Hertfordshire Museum to January 9, 2022.

As this project originated as a New Year’s resolution, are you making any resolutions this year and will they include any creative projects?

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