Kerry Beall’s artwork has always been on our radar, we are so glad we finally got to chat to her and find out a bit more about what she does. You can find some of her work in Art Republic in Brighton some of you may recognise it from there. We love her mix of colourful inks, messy brush strokes and drips combined with such fine beautiful charcoal detail. Gorgeous work by a gorgeous lady.
Hey Kerry, Tell us a little about your artistic background, how did you get into portraiture?
Hello! Well, I haven’t had a formal background in Art, I’ve always enjoyed doing a bit of drawing, especially as a kid, but didn’t see myself as an artist, because I didn’t think I could draw that well. I think a lot of people feel like that. I pursued a career in Graphic Design, which I was really excited about at the time, and it’s had a big influence on the work I do now. I knew I was destined for something creative, and I really enjoy graphic design, but the work I was doing was quite tight and restrictive. I’m not sure what possessed me, but I got some inks out, watched a youtube video on how to draw a face, and then something exciting happened. It wasn’t perfect (that definitely comes with practice) but it looked like a face, and I was pleased with that. I remember feeling really free and excited at the prospect of something appearing from a blank piece of paper. I’m drawn to portraits, especially the eyes, it’s the magic part that makes the artwork alive.
You are one of those rare artists who can completely capture some ones true likeness, any tips on getting it right?
Well, it’s something I’m still working on. I always use a reference, and it doesn’t turn out perfectly all the time. Mistakes happen too. Practice really does help, and understanding how the anatomy of the head works. Having a deeper knowledge of where things are positioned on the face helps. It’s being really particular about the features to gain an exact likeness. Some of the characteristics like the shape of the nostril, or the curve of the lip, are so unique to a person, and it could be the smallest stroke of charcoal that will make or break it. I’d like to draw from life really, but there’s not a queue out the door of people wanting to sit and pose!