Portraits of Dunhurst

Bedales Prep, Dunhurst

Pupils at Bedales Prep, Dunhurst have been busy painting likenesses of their teachers for a portrait project in Art.

Block 1 (Year 7) pupils painted the portraits – which include Head of Dunhurst Colin Baty, Deputy Head (Pastoral) Graeme Thompson and Head of Outdoor Work Ryan Walsh – after they were inspired by Bedales Facilities team member Garath Tullett’s exhibition of staff portraits in September.

Pupils started to practice their portrait skills by first drawing themselves from observation, getting used to drawing their features and thinking about the proportions of the human face and considering light and shade to give a sense of form. They also looked at artists like Chris Ofili and Frida Kahlo, whose portraits and self-portraits convey strong narrative, in the form of objects and symbolism.  

Pupils were then tasked with painting a portrait of an individual teacher. They pulled names out of the hat, took a photograph of the teacher and began painting. As well as taking a photo they also interviewed their chosen teacher and asked them three questions so they could not only ‘catch a likeness’, but also convey something of their personality in their work.

Dunhurst’s Head of Art and Design Susan McFarlane said: “I think the pupils have done a terrific job! They rose to the challenge of painting their individual teacher, they were keen to do their best. I think that knowing your sitter definitely helps to create a successful outcome. I think that the overall project also highlights our great community spirt and camaraderie here at Dunhurst. ”



Susan McFarlane

Luke Jordan said of his portrait of Susan McFarlane, Head of Art and Design: "I painted Susan. In the picture it shows her with a paint brush and palette. I learned that her favourite colour is purple and her favourite type of art is painting. She says ‘it’s a joy to see children exploring the world of painting, abstract or realistic.’ If she had to be another artist she would like to be Mary Cassatt."


Steve Jeggo

Felix Cunningham on his portrait of Steve Jeggo, Head of History & PRE: "You can tell that he teaches History because in the painting he is holding a Roman shield. Three things that I have learmed about Steve is that his favourite country, apart from England, is Greece, particularly the island of Alonisoss. "


Ryan Walsh

Sam Hardie on his portrait of Ryan, Head of Outdoor Work: " I am particularly proud of my colour mixing, the contrast between Ryan’s skin and the grain of wood, the colour of the chicken with it’s feather patterns and it’s head tuft! Ryan loves his job because he said ‘I love the outdoors’. He said that tea is his preferred beverage compared to coffee."


Phoebe Milton’s portrait of Rosie, Teacher of dDance: "The things that I have learnt about Rosie are that her favourite type of dance is tap. She learnt ballet with the Royal Academy with a teacher called Mrs Brown and she wanted to teach dance so that she can pass her experience on to others."

Colin Baty
Helen Howarth, Teacher of Textiles
Liv Burnett-Armstrong
Will Bray