Harry is the youngest son of my cousin, the very talented artist Mary-Ann Watt. His older sisters, Isla and Florence, had had their portraits done by me several years earlier when they respectively turned 10.
Now, finally, it was Harry’s turn.
Only boy, and youngest of 3, Harry has a fabulous mop of white blonde hair. Fresh from the summer spent in rockpools in Cornwall, he was tanned and impossibly delicious. Gentle, kind and sporty were a few of the adjectives supplied by Mares to describe him. I would add heavenly and incredibly obliging
When doing individual portraits of more than one child from a family, one always needs to make sure they work together. Even if the portraits are displayed on separate walls. If they are all pointing the same way they will look like they are on a bus (a little disconcerting!). And it is good to bear in mind the family dynamics so that as a group the portraits ring true. At the same time, you want to have the best and most flattering image of each child and not in any way sacrifice that for the good of the group.
When I first started this project, some 5 years previously, I had the ‘trio’ in mind and how they would look together. With the older sister, Isla, facing inwards looking dreamily out into the middle distance, there was scope for her 2 siblings to be to her right; one face on and one facing left. When Florence bounded in she took her place to Isla’s right, transfixing us, the viewers, with her huge twinkly blue eyes. Naturally centre-stage. But there was also enough lee-way for Harry to go either in the centre – as only boy, with a sister on either side – or to the right as the youngest.