Vanity Fair style portraits
My Vanity Fair style portraits pay homage to the impressive, albeit overlooked, artists of Vanity Fair magazine, founded in 1868 by Thomas Gibson Bowles. which featured caricatures of well-known personalities of the Victorian and Edwardian period. Although there were numerous artists who contributed to the publication, these caricatures are collectively known as ‘SPY’ cartoons, ‘Spy’ being the pseudonym (or nom de crayon) of their most influential artist, Leslie Ward. An apt name as Ward would study his ‘victims’ for many hours prior to beginning his preliminary sketches.
The original Vanity Fair portraits are highly collectible among professionals. The portraits produced were paintings which were made into chromolithographs for publication in the magazine. These were then usually reproduced on higher quality paper and sold as prints.
Process of my Vanity Fair style digital portraits
I start with a pencil sketch of the subject, which I scan. I then paint the portrait digitally in Photoshop using a graphics tablet and stylus. The aged effect is achieved by layering textures which I have created myself. The finished portrait is output to a high quality print (329mm x 483mm) and posted, ready for the client to frame, or can be simply provided as a digital file. What better gift to present to someone retiring or leaving, or to commemorate a significant event, than a portrait of themself to sit alongside their own Vanity Fair Spy print collection.
For more information about the process please visit my FAQ page or contact me if you’d like to commission a portrait.