Kitchen Table Portraits of a Mum

By Amelia, aged 7

By Lily, aged 4 (just!)

Both girls took this spontaneous portrait drawing session very seriously. I explained that when drawing from life it’s important to spend as much time (or more) with your eyes on your subject than down on your paper. They loved the idea that it would help to look at me as a bunch of lines and shapes and not just as a mum. I loved how they looked at me with intense concentration. I loved that they snapped at me not to move. I love that from Lily’s point of view (low down) I would in fact have a very piggy looking nose with enormous nostrils. I love that despite the fact that I modelled with a mad, crazy smile Amelia somehow translated that into a vague and slightly despondent gaze.

I drew them too, but they very politely informed me that my drawings were “I’m sorry to say this mum, but kind of ugly” (Amelia) and “not really very good” (Lily) and they were quite right.