You know? You are amazing to watch, you watch you paint wondering where you are heading with the painting, and suddenly a couple of strokes and it all comes together! ~ Sue Taylor

This comment on my portraiture has remained with me ever since. Sue made the comment to me when I was finishing up my oil painting of Frank.

Frank © Kylie Fogarty Oil on Canvas
Frank © Kylie Fogarty Oil on Canvas


I’m not one that has found it easy to share a lot of work in progress images as often what happens in between is not the final result, having altered and evolved over a long process. This is particularly so in my more abstract pieces. If I feel that my work connects with an audience during the creative process, I find it halts the process and I often feel as though I cannot go on.

The comment made by Sue, above, found a new insight into the way I work and has encouraged me to focus on my process, thus sharing my works while they are in progress.

Portraiture is one of the genres that I find fascinating. I have been drawing and painting portraits for years now. I met Sue when I came to Canberra from Brisbane I had the pleasure of attending an ASOC (Arts Society of Canberra) workshop. ASOC is a great wealth of art workshops and information, and is one of the many fantastic places to start when arriving in Canberra and looking for art groups.

I find faces fascinating, they tell a thousand stories, and I love to try and capture that whether it be via painting or drawing.

Similar to many other artists, I will warm up in my portraiture by methods of blind contour drawings or when I’m feeling particularly tight, I use the twig method, another great loosening technique discovered at one of the many workshops that I have attended with Sue.

Twig Blog Image


This commission piece was created for a client of mine, who has kindly agreed to allow me to share the end result with you.

Starting with a faint outline I begin with shading (interesting lines when doing with a twig!). I love the dripping effect that naturally occurs in the duration of this process.

Portrait With a Twig © Kylie Fogarty 1









Once that has been roughly noted onto the paper, I then layer the ink building up the areas which beckon more detail.

Portrait With a Twig © Kylie Fogarty 2










Portrait With a Twig © Kylie Fogarty 3









Once that is established, I finish the artwork by emphasizing the elements of the hair and eyes of the portrait.

Portrait With a Twig © Kylie Fogarty 4









These are my two favourite elements of a portrait, so I take a great deal of time considering these parts. With this particular portrait, his eyes are so kind and jovial, so I was particularly wanting to capture that on paper.

So here he is, 99% of the painting was completed with a twig, the finer details of his inner lids of the eye and mouth being completed with a small brush.

Twig Ink Painting © Kylie Fogarty
Portrait – Ink on Fine Art Paper
Twig Ink Painting Close Up  © Kylie Fogarty
Portrait – Ink on Fine Art Paper


After this I think I may continue to paint with a twig on occasion! I thoroughly enjoyed painting in this style.

My focus shifted from over thinking the elements of the portrait to enjoying the process one step at a time.

Do you paint with tools other than the traditional paint brush? I’d love to hear about it, leave a comment below ~ K


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