Thursday 5 October 2023


Daniel Lismore has just started painting portraits again, and I know that Linda and Laura both have tackled them in their work. You might have seen Daniel on Portrait Artist of the Year where he was a guest sitter, or last night on Portrait Artist of the Decade, where he was in the audience.

I think if you work in textiles and/or include stitch, this can create problems. A stitched faced has to be tackled carefully to stop the sitter looking old and wrinkled! Laura and Linda have some interesting ways to tackle this and you can watch their videos on Design Matters TV to get some ideas.

Out of Time by Laura Kemshall


For a quilt it's important to add some stitch somewhere or the layers will sag over time and if, as most are, it's to be a wall hanging then it's even more crucial.

Here's some of mine. They are quite old now, and my latest work tackles portraits slightly differently, and I feel I'm getting there on absolute flatness, but I still like a stitched "outline" of features and lots of stitch work on the hair, hats, clothes etc. I always stitch first and paint afterwards.

All these quilts were part of a large series that can be viewed here.

Shall I Be Mother? The story has been stitched up to the neck and chin, facial outlines are added and lots of stitch to make the hair

Leaf Mould. Here the face itself is stitched with words up to the mouth, nose and eyes. There is stitch on all the features but it's not heavy and there is paint over it.

Be The Change You Want. The facial features are stitched but not the face. It's difficult to get the face flat enough to stop long-term bowing/sagging of the fabric.

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