Capturing Likeness, Or Not

by | Sep 22, 2023

I love using people as subject matter. Not so much as ‘portraits’, not so much to replicate them on a canvas, but just because I am inspired by the gesture or their way of looking at you or something about them. Attitude? Essence? And sometimes, the resulting art work might actually look like them. But maybe not. Maybe it just reminds you of them.

Commissions are often problematic because there is a certain expectation that there will be a strong ‘likeness’ to the subject. Deviating from the reference material is not always an option. The pressure is there to produce and it can take precedence over the integrity of the art work.

mixed medium on Yupo l 20 x 26 l $250
Image © Norene Smiley. All rights reserved.
watercolour | 10 x 14 | $200