Portraits by Emily Reading

As a child, I found crayons and pens limited my creativity – I could never get the finish I had in my head. I had better luck with oil-pastels, but being unable to get the pictures in my head down on paper exactly how I wanted them to be left me feeling frustrated. In my teenage years I discovered Photoshop, and found great pleasure in manipulating images (mostly cars) to create beautiful pieces of art – however, I was still frustrated I couldn’t do my own drawings from scratch.

In my 30s, I put my Photoshop skills to good use and was hired as a professional graphic designer. This allowed me to learn new skills and try things I hadn’t thought of before – but that desire to draw still nagged at me.

Through training and hard work, I became proficient in Photoshop, with image manipulation becoming my main source of income. With the money I could spare, I sunk more of it into professional training.

The first time I opened illustrator, I panicked. ‘What do all these icons even mean?’ It looked a bit like Photoshop, but at the same time, nothing like it. I enrolled on more courses and slowly the tools began to make sense.

Then came the question, ‘Can I draw? Of course I can’t – I have never been able to before – why would this new set of tools be any different?’ How wrong I was. I started simple, using the gold ratio to draw foxes, pandas, even a flamingo – and they looked good!

The ultimate challenge remained though – could I really do a portrait? There was only one way to find out… try!

One Saturday afternoon, I sat down at my desk, opened Illustrator and began. Hours passed before I finished. I rolled back on my ball (a chair would be far too normal for me), and stared into the eyes of my beloved Honey dog. There she was, as a portrait, by my own hand. I had done it, and what’s more, I enjoyed every minute of it. The desire to draw had finally been freed; and now no-one can stop me.

I love drawing portraits. Whether they’re people, pets, or places – I love it all! I enjoy every stage, from the outlines, to the initial colouring, to tweaking those final little bits to make it all work together.

Requests for portraits hitting my inbox fill my heart with so much joy because I know I’m going to have a great day.

I haven’t finished my website yet – so please do bear with me – but if you would also like a portrait of your own, please contact emily@emilyreading.com in the meantime and I will respond to your message.