Camile Doubtfire is a talented portrait artist from Oakworth in West Yorkshire. Her attention to detail is astounding and one wouldn’t be blamed for mistaking her portraits for photographic images. Having recently purchased some of her beautiful artwork ourselves, we wanted to learn more about the lady behind these stunning portraits and introduce you to some of her work.
Here’ what Camile had to say about her remarkable talent, her artistic inspiration and her brand new collection…
Camile, your when did you realise you had such a talent?
Drawing and painting has always been something that I enjoy and gravitate towards. It was something that I did constantly in my spare time as a little girl and was my best subject at school. I eventually started to delve into portraiture in my 20s, loving the challenge of trying to teach myself to draw realistically. I am self taught so learning new things is always very experimental and instinctive, which is makes things really fun for me and hopefully that comes across in my work.
Is there a particular artist who has inspired your work?
I get inspired quite easily, mostly by people that I admire rather than directly from other artwork. I love film so I often include portraits of old Hollywood film stars from my favourite eras, I think the way they used lighting in their photography and cinematography back then was really special so I try to capture than in my drawings as much as I can
Camile, at The Yorkshire Press we really love your work. Have you always done portraits?
Yes I have been drawing and painting portraits for a while now, going back to my first Marilyn portrait when I was 14, after that I didn’t draw properly again until I was in my 20s. I was working in my Dad’s tattoo studio making his stencils and realistic portraiture was becoming a big thing in tattooing at that time and I just fell in love with it immediately. I would get very carried away, making them as detailed as possible, taking them home and working on them for hours and hours just for the fun of it, which later developed into me going into portraiture myself.
You have done some amazing drawings and paintings of celebrities and famous names. How do you decide who to draw / paint? Is it always someone you’re a personal fan of?
Yes, I usually draw whatever it is I’m experiencing at the time. For instance, when I was working on my black and white Old Hollywood collection, I would watch as many films as I could get my hands on by whichever actress I was working on in that moment. When I was a little girl I would watch black and white films and technicolor films with my Grandma so they are very nostalgic for me. There’s something so beautiful about that time period so each portrait I make has a special meaning to me and brings back so many lovely memories.
We’ve seen some of the progress videos of your work. How long does it take you to complete a drawing like your Einstein one?
The Einstein piece is something I worked on for about 6 months, but not consistently. At the time I was doing a lot of portraits on a plain white background and when I got to that stage with this portrait it didn’t feel complete. I put it down for a while and waited until I had an idea for a good setting to place him in, then continued a few months later.
Do you have a favourite piece?
My new collection is something that’s exciting me at the moment. I have always been fascinated with colour but have never taken the time to study it properly, so this collection is the result of my experiments with colours alongside the solid foundation of classic portraiture. I love how different colours can make you feel different things and combining contrasting colours can give such an interesting effect. The portraiture style is more bold and expressive than it has been before and it has been a real treat to loosen up a little bit. I got to play with all of the pretty colours I have in my collection that usually would just sit on the shelf.
You do commissioned portraits of people’s pets which we should imagine are super popular. Do you do these from a supplied photograph?
Yes, I am a massive animal lover so it’s always such an honour to be asked to create a portrait of someones pet. I always work from photographs, it’s really important to have good quality photos to work from so I prefer to take them myself whenever possible, though of course if that isn’t possible for whatever reason, I will work from multiple older photographs when I can.
Where can we see and purchase some of your work?