Wednesday, 19 October 2011

New Portrait Project: Faces Needed

After the flurry of last week’s portrait themed blog-posts, I thought it would be as good a time as any to talk about my next project.

In brief; I’m looking for subjects for my own new forays into portraiture. In the past I’ve submitted entries to both the BP Portrait Award and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, however it’s now been over five years since I gave this a serious bash.

In the intervening period a lot has changed, not least that portraiture has become my bread and butter - for editorial clients like TIME, the FT and Wallpaper. I really enjoy it, but I rarely if ever have the pleasure of meeting my portrait subjects in person, or of having much say over how the reference images I receive are photographed. They’re usually reproduced very small, too, and have to be executed at some speed.

Whilst producing my recent large-scale ‘Peter Andre Saliva Tree’ personal work I again found myself doing mini-faces at a rate of knots from found photo reference! The irony wasn’t lost on me, and I resolved that the next big personal project would have to be a different sort of portrait challenge.

I’ll be honest, I don’t have the space at home or in the studio to carry out sittings from life – so the good news is that I’m not in search of people to donate hundreds of hours to sit in person. I’d love to sketch some faces from life, if anyone’s up for that - but for the moment the most realistic scenario for my painting is that I’m looking for people who are willing to have their faces photographed.

What sort of sitters am I looking for? In the first instance I’m just putting the word out there, and will start building up a photo archive of a diverse set of people without imposing any limits on the sorts of people I need. Can you help or do you know anyone who might be willing to help? I envisage it would only take up half an hour of your time max, and I’d be willing (within reason) to come to you. In return I’ll happily supply photos/scans of any artwork that results. I’m looking for a diversity of all sorts of faces, especially in this research stage. Content-wise I wouldn’t be posing sitters in any strange or surreal scenarios, the purpose for now is just a pure focus on the face – so in all respects the sittings would be extremely simple. The plan is to be highly naturalistic, so although I can’t allow for any special requests (‘draw me without wrinkles’ etc) I can certainly reassure you that there’ll be no Picassification.

If you’re interested you can e-mail me direct at, or tweet me @peterjamesfield.


  1. wish i was in london for this :(

  2. are you going to draw 'regular' people - or are you looking for celebrities?