Portraits for NHS Heroes

The Portraits for NHS Heroes initiative was set up by artist Tom Croft, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The idea of the project was for artists to give back to our dedicated NHS workers and paint their portraits for free. Artists would then post their paintings on social media using the hashtag #portraitsfornhsheroes, so that all of the paintings could be seen in an online exhibition. I decided to take part in this wonderful project and painted a dear friend of mine, Harriet. Having recently graduated with Greenwich University in 2018, Harriet described how the most challenging part of her career to date has been Covid-19……

“The fear for your patients and their families, for yourself, the fear that you may take it home to your family and the drain of wearing PPE. However it has also been the most heartwarming experiences working in an incredible MDT team who support each other, the support from the general public, my family and friends, patients and other key workers. It remains an absolute privilege to look after children and their families and to be fighting the fight on the front line against covid 19. A fight I know we can win together” – Harriet.

Below is a snapshot of some of the process behind the final painting. The first image is the photograph I used of Harriet to create the painting, and then each subsequent image demonstrating where I have tackled certain parts of the portrait.

Half way through painting I muted the background from the quite garish fuchsia to this more pleasant peach. I really enjoyed painting the portrait, the mask and hair cover was particularly challenging but so fun to paint! Below is the final painting.

Finally a few weeks ago when restrictions started easing, I was able to see Harriet in person to finally give it to her! Thank you for all of your hard work in keeping people safe, and to all key working staff worldwide!

Thames Side Studios where I am based have also produced an online exhibition showcasing the portraits for NHS Heroes created by various studio holders on site, check it out here.

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