Harriet Pattinson

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Harriet Pattinson

United Kingdom

I am a London based artist practising mainly in the medium of oil paint and with a particular love and fascination for painting people, both commissioned portraits and my own figurative work. It was at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence that this desire to explore portraiture truly developed.


For six months between school and Exeter university I began my studies here, drawing people and casts to learn basic skills, which confirmed my determination to return.  I returned  to Charles Cecil Studios after completing my English Literature degree, and trained for a further 3 years. I discovered first hand the wonder and variety of painting from life, to the scale of life using the sight-size method.


In 2016 I set up my north-light studio in London, carefully selecting the colour of the walls to enhance the subtle plays of greens and pinks in the skin. I find that the quiet, functional space of my studio creates the atmosphere in which I do develop a genuine connection with my sitter, a part of the job I never expected but one I really appreciate. Painting from life gives endless opportunities in which to try to capture a beautiful but fleeting expression and, as I see it, this is the portraitists’ persistent struggle and ultimate purpose. Flowers are my second love for this very reason. Their beauty too is ephemeral and fragile, changing hour by hour and requiring a swift but delicate brush.


For the last two summers I have been selected to be included in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition. In the 2017 exhibition I was the most requested artist who was not an RP member.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 14th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.