Sheila Bryant

Sheila Bryant

'The Face of Humanity 1'

"I have been a portrait artist all my life. I have vivid memories of drawing again and again the features of the face from a very early age. Watching my father paint used to mesmerise me. I’ve never been scared of the most difficult subjects and when you draw or paint faces and heads, you have to be incredibly critical of every detail in order to create a likeness.

Describing the light on lips requires so much subtlety that too much emphasis can change everything. The shapes of noses are endless, and the eyes are the highlight of the face needing so much attention. Deciding what to leave out and what the exact detail that is needed to describe this one particular eye or pair of eyes, demands total concentration and when it goes well it is such a satisfying skill. In my head I have to narrate what is happening, trying to understand the physical minute details which then need light and character layered over the top. I studied Fine Art in Cheltenham from 1983-86 BA Hons I have always taken commissions.

For the past ten years I have run my own Portrait and Life Drawing Classes at St Nicolas’ Church Hall in Cheltenham. I have travelled far and wide doing demonstrations and workshops even as far as Bethlehem where I worked with Icon painters."