Portraits of an Artist


Elaine Brennan is a 25-year-old artist who has an interest in drawing faces and has made many portraits over the past few years. Her subjects have included people she knows—her family, friends and colleagues. She is frequently asked to do drawings for people. She also likes to draw famous people from newspaper photos.

Elaine’s way of working often involves using photographs. She likes to look at several different photos of the subject. Sometimes she does her research on a theme by looking for images on the Internet. She selects the ones that interest her and begins to draw with pencil or marker. She likes the way the light and shade interact on different surfaces. She translates this into a very graphic representation of the subject. Her linear style is very distinctive; she varies the intensity of the lines. She likes to use colouring pencils and markers, but has experimented with acrylics and watercolours. She also likes to use strong colours.

As well as drawing people, Elaine likes to draw things like trains and aeroplanes. The DART and LUAS were represented in her recent exhibition. Cameras and photographers, both for still and movie cameras, interest her because she says, ‘I like getting my picture taken and I like the way they look. I like seeing photographers on the RTE news.’

It is Elaine’s dream to have her ‘photograph taken by the photographer and put in the paper’. In the future she says ‘I would like to work in an artist’s studio. She currently attends Adult Education in Stewarts Hospital Day Services, working on her own art projects. She has completed some FETAC modules, including art, and is currently working on religious imagery.

Elaine’s first public exhibition was held in Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre in June 2006. The exhibition was opened by Councillor Therese Ridge of South Dublin City Council. Elaine’s work was subsequently in Lucan Library and a selection of her art pieces have been used in the 2007 Stewarts Hospital calendar.

Frontline is proud to show a selection of Elaine’s drawings on the following pages.


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