War Portrait


I recently finished reading Vera Brittain’s diaries from the First World War (called Chronicle of Youth, which I recommend if you can take the heartbreak) and although this is definitely not supposed to be a Goozeberry-fied portrait of Brittain herself – she served as a V.A.D. nurse during WW1 – this little index card was inspired by the book as I’ve been wandering around ever since with this kind of image in my mind. I was going to colour in the lips and cheeks as well as the cross on the uniform and have those details as the only touches of colour, but when it came to it I thought it would be much more effective to have the red cross stand alone as it felt like the most important part of it anyway, and it’s such a powerful symbol.

I don’t think I will ever get bored of doing portraits like this (not sure about you though!). I think it’s because I could spend hours looking at the real thing, wondering all about the people in them, who they were, what they liked, did etc…


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