With my head down completing my final year of studies, it's been some time since my last post. It's been a busy and exciting period for me, the highlight of which has been producing a portrait to hang in St Barts and The London School of Medicine. The portrait, left, is of Professor of Surgery David Ritchie, who was Dean of the Medical College.
The commission was a great honour to work on and posed several technical challlenges. As a posthumous portrait, I was working from an old photographic slide, the colours of which had deteriorated. The composition itself also required various adjustments in order to establish a suitable background, not to mention straightening the tie, which was flapping in the wind!
It was wonderful to deliver the painting, in its beautiful gilt frame, to the client, who was delighted with it, and I am really excited to see it unveiled and hanging on the stairs of the medical school soon.
In other news, I have just under three months of study left and so I recently took the opportunity to attend a summer drinks arranged by my sponsors, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust. It was very inspiring to meet some of their latest crop of talented scholars. In particular I was interested to meet two conservators and I spent a fascinating time talking to them about their work at the Courtauld Institute and get their thoughts on my recent experiments painting on aluminium panels.
Ben Laughton Smith
Aspiring artist, training in the classical tradition.