Whilst at the Academy of Fine Art in Florence, I undertook my first ‘site size’ portrait. Having always painted from photographs this is my first portrait done from a live model. It was a first also in that I had to draw with a paintbrush without having sketched her in charcoal onto the canvas first (which is how I normally work). Not only was I surprised at how easy it was, but also how accurately this can be accomplished with only the use of string for measuring, just as they did in the Renaissance era. The resemblance to the model was also uncanny and accurate. Yes I should have had her pose for the photo as per the portrait,…but you can see she was quite pleased.