About the Sitter
Yasmin H was my youngest daughter’s best friend at primary school and a regular and much loved in our house. Even at 7, she was extraordinarily beautiful – olive-skinned, greeny-hazel eyed and wonderful leonine hair; but she was also kind, gentle, serene, warm and loyal. And absurdly talented at whatever she turned her attention to: a gifted actress, a very talented artist, and quietly intelligent.
At 15, (the same age I painted her sister, Olivia, 2 years previously) Yasmin carries this beauty, both external and internal, with a poise and gentle confidence that has not a shred of arrogance.
It is sometimes much harder to draw someone who you a) know so well and are so fond of and b) is this beautiful. I wanted to avoid the ‘chocolate box’ curse, but also wanted to represent Yassi as I knew her. So, although she is a lively, bubbly and engaging girl, I wanted to portray the sense of quiet that underpins her spirit.
One of the weird (but not unusual) effects of drawing her portrait was that I often found myself looking at Tracey, her mother. I have never noticed the likeness before, but it was quite uncanny how it emerged and faded and reemerged through the development of the portrait. The resemblance is still there but the likeness is Yasmin with an unmistakable hint of Tracey.
This drawing took me much longer than most as I wanted so much out of it, but I am delighted with the end result: a poised and serene teenage girl/young woman with a hint of humour dancing at the corner of her lips.