AIBU to think the portrait of KM, DoC, is really unflattering and a bit creepy?

(237 Posts)
NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Fri 11-Jan-13 10:50:46
Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 11-Jan-13 10:55:07

She looks much fuller in the face than she appears in photos.

It's a bit odd really, not flattering!

WorraLiberty Fri 11-Jan-13 10:56:13

Blimey, she looks older and her face looks fatter.

No, I don't care much for it.

Tryharder Fri 11-Jan-13 10:56:44

It's vile isn't it?

My first thought is that she must be really confident about herself to purposely go for something as unflattering as this.

FannyFifer Fri 11-Jan-13 10:56:51

Jings that is pretty unflattering.

HyvaPaiva Fri 11-Jan-13 10:58:19

It's very 'grey' and lifeless. She looks old and tired in it. I don't really know what I'm talking about in terms of art or painting but my basic reaction was 'that's awful!', I'm afraid.

wriggletto Fri 11-Jan-13 10:58:32

That's definitely not very flattering, but then it's an oil painting, not a photograph - it's designed to be seen in a gallery, hung at a certain height, with correct lighting, rather than reproduced in the Daily Mail. [hopeful]

I like it, it looks like she's trying not to giggle.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 11-Jan-13 10:59:05

Eeek she looks in her 50s in it.

HyvaPaiva Fri 11-Jan-13 11:00:50

Ah, good point about the lighting, wriggletto.

I think it looks like a hideous soft focus, 1970's print that you pick up at car boot sales. Her expression is awkward. It makes me think of talcum powder and doilies.

Bluebell99 Fri 11-Jan-13 11:02:06

Gosh, I really don't like it. She looks much older and her eyes are really cold. It's very unflattering.

I quite like it.

It's awful! Maybe this is her in 20 odd years but it doesn't look like the young and fresh faced woman she is at the moment.

ZacharyQuack Fri 11-Jan-13 11:09:42

It looks like she sat for it in the early days of pregnancy, when she hadn't slept properly for a few nights and she's trying not to barf.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 11-Jan-13 11:10:19

It makes her look so old!

She is a really attractive woman, and that doesn't come over at all.

meditrina Fri 11-Jan-13 11:12:26

It's probably better if you see it for real, rather than a photo of it.

But my first reaction was to note how weary she looks.

It's a bit sinister.

WowOoo Fri 11-Jan-13 11:19:23

I didn't think it was very flattering.
You can see it via BBC website if you don't want like Daily Mail.

AmberLeaf Fri 11-Jan-13 11:22:18

Definitely sinister.

MrsBungleBear Fri 11-Jan-13 11:25:46

Wow, she looks at least 15 years older. Really unflattering.

Vagaceratops Fri 11-Jan-13 11:30:43

If you squint at it she looks like David Cameron.

specialsubject Fri 11-Jan-13 11:32:23

I just spotted my slightly saggy jowls in the mirror - but I am nearly twenty years older than she is. As she is skeletal and only 30, so doesn't have saggy jowls, why does the portrait have them?

she needs to ask for our her money back. She is currently a pretty girl and this portrait is horrible!

TheCraicDealer Fri 11-Jan-13 11:37:38

Apparently she's said she likes it. Well, I suppose she could hardly turn 'round and tell the assembled press she thinks it makes her look like she's doing a cat's bum mouth.

Spatsky Fri 11-Jan-13 11:38:32

She has a beautiful smile so lord knows why the artist has gone for this weird mouth closed half smile which makes her look like she has bad teeth that she is trying to hide (which obvusly she hasn't)

CaptChaos Fri 11-Jan-13 11:44:07

I quite like it, she might not be giving it a toothsome smile, but there is real humour in her eyes. It does seem to age her slightly, but as someone else said, it probably wasn't presented as it should be in that awful rag.

HyvaPaiva Fri 11-Jan-13 11:45:39

Just to compare, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is ten years older than Kate yet in her official portrait here, there's youthfulness, light, and personality. Something like this would've suited Kate more, I think.

RooneyMara Fri 11-Jan-13 11:51:44

It's awful. Like some faded print off a 1 star hotel wall in 1983.

Please. sad

(speaking as someone who paints portraits!)

helenthemadex Fri 11-Jan-13 11:51:46

I'm not an artist or arty at all but I think its the dull colours that make it look flat and old, if the colours were brighter it would make a difference. I think it has captured her but it looks like a photograph when you fiddle with the colour on it

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Fri 11-Jan-13 11:51:51

I agree hyva

RooneyMara Fri 11-Jan-13 11:52:15

Hyva - that is what I call a portrait.

TinyDancingHoofer Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:50

She looks awful in the face, her hair looks alright though. She must be happy with it or they wouldn't have released it but it would be really sad if this is how she sees herself.

RobinSparkles Fri 11-Jan-13 12:09:32

She looks about 50 in that portrait. I bet she was well pissed off!

RobinSparkles Fri 11-Jan-13 12:11:25

Ah, no. It said that she's delighted! confused

I didn't read it, I only looked at the picture.

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Jan-13 12:12:29

In the original photograph, in the link at bottom, she looks young and fresh.

The painting looks flatter, much older.

GilmoursPillow Fri 11-Jan-13 12:13:14

I saw a comment where someone had said "Wow. It looks like one of those "What Will You Look Like in 15 Years" Facebook things."

VinegarTits Fri 11-Jan-13 12:21:20

i like it

VinegarTits Fri 11-Jan-13 12:24:16

and the picture at the bottom IS the portrait not a photograph, the daily fail have probably edited the top picture to look duller, that wouldnt suprise me

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Jan-13 12:26:56

In the video link

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 12:29:39

I don't like it. I think she is really attractive, but to my (albeit very uneducated art eye) it looks like a bad soft focus photo. A bit like those photos you would get back in the 1980s of ageing film or tv stars, where you could still kind of see the wrinkles, but just not very clearly.

msrisotto Fri 11-Jan-13 12:29:52

I like it as a picture but it doesn't do her justice.

maxmillie Fri 11-Jan-13 12:31:35

She looks like a middle-aged housewife wife of a "City bigwig" who arranges fund-raising dinners - weird as she is only 31 and hasn't even been ravaged by multiple pregnancies/childbirth yet smile

VinegarTits Fri 11-Jan-13 12:33:51

ah yes sorry, no i still disagree, it looks much softer and nicer than the photo, the bottom picture of the portrait is much better than the main one, she looks her age, i.e 30 ish

It looks like the poor Duchess has had her soul and life force sucked out of her. How to make a beautiful and vibrant young woman into a female harry potter-esque Death Eater. sad

VinegarTits Fri 11-Jan-13 12:38:06

look closely at the top pic and the bottom pic, definitely some DM editing to make her look dull, they never print flattering picture of women

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Jan-13 12:39:59

It does look very different in the shot with the artist's head next to it. Not so grey.

VinegarTits Fri 11-Jan-13 12:40:35

youve all fallen for the DM woman hating shite that they print time after time, i bet the portrait looks totally different in rl, or why else would she be pleased with it? hmm

piprabbit Fri 11-Jan-13 12:40:46

It looks like she was sat in a cupboard.

Why not use warmer colours?

Although it does seem to be on a huge scale, so maybe less dirge like in RL.

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Jan-13 12:42:23

I thought she was being polite.

But that top image is so poor.

poshfrock Fri 11-Jan-13 12:42:36

Apparently the artist changed her eye colour to match her blouse ( as per BBC website). Why ?

TheDemonShedMaster Fri 11-Jan-13 12:43:06

It looks like Julia Bradbury.

Bifftastic Fri 11-Jan-13 12:46:39

Did he get confused and paint her mum instead?

orangepudding Fri 11-Jan-13 12:48:28

The top picture looks awful but the one where you can also see the artist is much better - has colour and depth.

FairPhyllis Fri 11-Jan-13 12:50:44

It's really hard to reproduce paintings well in photos - it looks as though in RL it might be a lot better. It is MASSIVE though.

gotthemoononastick Fri 11-Jan-13 12:53:41

Stunning work!Thank goodness he avoided the TEETH!

Spatsky Fri 11-Jan-13 12:59:13

Actually I am warming to it after watching the video of the artist talking about it and the photo it was based on.

TheCraicDealer Fri 11-Jan-13 13:00:42

You're right, Vinegar, does actually look a lot better in the picture below.

EuroShagmore Fri 11-Jan-13 13:00:45

It's dreadful. Her eyes look evil and she looks so much older than she actually is.

TheCraicDealer Fri 11-Jan-13 13:01:01

And what's wrong with her teeth?!

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 13:12:19

In the Guardian, a commentator is saying it is like something out of Twilight!

QueenStromba Fri 11-Jan-13 13:14:09

DP just saw me looking at it and I said it was a terrible portrait. His response was that it might just be what she looks like - I had to tell him it was Kate Middleton!

Well of course she said she was delighted. She could hardly say "that official portrait is so fugly I want to cry - I don't really look like that, do I?!"

neriberi Fri 11-Jan-13 13:29:23

She looks really weird in it, its a bit scary actually.

HazeltheMcWitch Fri 11-Jan-13 13:30:50

Maybe the painter met her and didn't like her, so he tried to represent how he felt?

EmmaBemma Fri 11-Jan-13 13:33:44

It's horrible! I really don't understand why he's painted her with that expression. Her mouth looks like she's suppressing a smile but her eyes look sort of cold and beady, and the weird soft pastel type effect just looks cheap.

Her eyes look strange.

McNewPants2013 Fri 11-Jan-13 13:35:16

Sorry didn't see this thread and starting another one, I don't like the portrait either

fluffyraggies Fri 11-Jan-13 13:35:57

Her wrinkles are accentuated and her nose looks 'fudged' to me.

I paint a bit, and noses are notoriously tricky, and this painting instantly reminded me of that fact. So thumbs down here.

thisonehasalittlecar Fri 11-Jan-13 13:40:00

I saw it on TV this morning and can confirm it's not just been doctored by the DM-it is really awful; it looks like the airbrush pictures of celebrities they paint on the sides of fairground rides. Even my auntie recoiled at it and she likes pictures of fluffy kittens and cartoon bears holding flowers.

TroublesomeEx Fri 11-Jan-13 13:40:56

She looks far older than her 31 years.

She also looks like she's raided granny's wardrobe. Poor girl. sad

Unless this is the real her and the other images we see are touched up. Who knows!

I think she looks fine!
You can find wrinkles in spotty 18 year olds. I don't see the problem. It's just we're too used to what a "perfect" airbrushed 31 year old looks like.

thisonehasalittlecar Fri 11-Jan-13 13:45:18

Maybe it is the real her and she's really 53 but the picture's been doing the ageing instead, Dorian Grey-stylee.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 11-Jan-13 13:48:55

My immediate reaction was 'Edwina Currie'... yikes.

tiggytape Fri 11-Jan-13 13:49:59

I agree quirrel - the portrait doesn't look old for a 31 year old. She's 31 not 19

It looks a lot like the photo it is based on, although in the photo her blouse is sleeveless which I suppose does look less frumpy than the way its been painted.

Maybe it is the decision to go informal that's made it appear a bit downbeat and a bit dull? If she'd gone for something overtly royal and formal with diamonds and a background and maybe a corgi or two, I doubt anyone would be scouring the facial details so much.

spatchcock Fri 11-Jan-13 13:51:24

Oh dear, that is not flattering at all.

Maybe she said she liked it because she was so relieved it wasn't as bad as the Lucian Freud portrait of the Queen, which one critic said made her look like she had the neck of a rugby prop.

TheBrideofMucky Fri 11-Jan-13 13:53:18

I don't care for it much. I know most of the photos we see of her (even the papped ones) are airbrushed but she does look older and very tired in it.

And she can't admit she doesn't like it without looking vain.

giveitago Fri 11-Jan-13 13:53:27

"My first thought is that she must be really confident about herself to purposely go for something as unflattering as this. "

Jeez does it matter. Why are we so ready to criticize the looks of other women. yonly 'woah' issues with this woman is why she's gone down the line of her mil aka the extreme thinness. Oh and she has lines on the face - don't most women?

I don't except extreme purposely achieved thinness as the ideal of women (and there are lots of comments about the 'fullness' of her face) - aka most lingerie models modelling bras - erm - you wouldn't wear shoes if you didn't have feet.

Shame she has to be beautiful because she's in the public eye.

rockinhippy Fri 11-Jan-13 14:01:51

I've just this minute seen it on TV & got to say I wasn't impressed either, for all the reasons already mentioned above, doesn't do her justice at all & I also think it just looks very dowdy, not classic in an timeless sort of way, which could be forgiven, but just dated & dowdy - such a shame

SwitchedtoEatingCheese Fri 11-Jan-13 14:18:01

'She spent 10 minutes studying the portrait before gesturing with her hands, indicating that she was particularly pleased with the way he had captured her around her mouth and nose'.

In actual fact she spent ten minutes trying to calm her urge to grab the fucker off the wall and put it over the artists head whilst thinking 'i don't look that old' and planning a stop of at the shops on the way home for some anti wrinkle cream and a bottle of wine

RooneyMara Fri 11-Jan-13 14:19:42

I don['t see any improvement on the BBC link I'm afraid.

The hair looks airbrushed, so does the rest of it tbh

the nose looks like it's made of plasticine and stuck on

I mean this person got PAID


Oh and she has lines on the face - don't most women?
Yes, and that is not the point. The point is that the painter seems to have invented more lines!

RooneyMara Fri 11-Jan-13 14:23:58

Seriously you find this sort of picture at car boot sales all over the country.
Often it has a little tear running down one cheek.

it's just hideous. Where did they find this guy?

RooneyMara Fri 11-Jan-13 14:27:17

'Emsley was the wrong painter. He is essentially a wildlife artist used to painting every hair on a gorilla.'


Or make animals look dark, scary and ferocious. Well, he succeeded in this with the Duchess!

howcomes Fri 11-Jan-13 14:48:01

she has a lovely smile, I don't understand why the artist hasn't shown that, perhaps he was trying for a Mona Lisa type effect but it seems slightly like a cat's bum look of disapproval to me. Poor girl sad

funnyperson Fri 11-Jan-13 14:54:27

Awful awful awful- makes her look old, accentuates bags and wrinkles which she actually doesn't have, looks very dark, not much jewellry in it. I think this is a plot to make Camilla look good.

In any event the artist should be asked to redo it frankly or else return his fee- I heard that this was commissioned by the national gallery and if so then this awful portait of a lovely woman is a terrible waste of public money. We have a local artist who would do a much much better picture.

funnyperson Fri 11-Jan-13 14:56:26

They could have chosen the artist who painted this picture

funnyperson Fri 11-Jan-13 14:58:22

I find it sad that those in high places cant throw tantrums these days. The queen as mum- in- law could mention a few sentences on the lines of 'off with his head ' etc perhaps

auntilin Fri 11-Jan-13 14:58:51

poor to put it kindly.

Kate is such a beauty, this does not do her justice.

I'd be rather alarmed if it was me.

RightUpMyRue Fri 11-Jan-13 14:59:57

I heard on the radio earlier that she thinks it's "amazing!". I agree. Amazing they've made her look so bloody awful. Poor Kate.

SirBoobAlot Fri 11-Jan-13 15:04:36

Well she could hardly turn around and say she didn't like it, could she?

Poor love. She's very attractive, this doesn't do her justice at all!

WifeofPie Fri 11-Jan-13 15:39:27

Terrible sad. It looks like one of those sad chalk street drawings. I would have liked to see something more vibrant and fresh...with some of the beautiful colours that she wears. Something with a little more pomp.

YouOldSlag Fri 11-Jan-13 15:47:28

It looks the kind of painting a crazed fan would send to their idol.

Scrubber Fri 11-Jan-13 15:54:05

That's what she'd look like after the baby is born, if she didn't have nannies. (in my tired, grey, fat faced, bitter experience!)

TameGaloot Fri 11-Jan-13 16:03:40

I don't like it
It's not a good likeness.
It makes her look older than she actually does
It might make her look like the rest of us 31 year olds but most of use don't look as good as her in reality

As for us falling for the daily mails sexism. I saw it on the bbcs site before I came on here

And anyway most people aren't being horrible about her, they're saying the picture version of her doesn't look as good as the real version of her

I don't think it makes her look 'older' - I do think it fails to capture her youth and vitality.

It's very well painted imo. And I'm guessing she thinks it's amazing because it makes her look very sensible but with a slightly repressed smile and that she probably thinks it's a good balance to portray.

piratecat Fri 11-Jan-13 16:29:20

what's up with the cheek area, it looks like it's been redone a million times, and that's the best he could get it.

happygolurky Fri 11-Jan-13 16:32:41

It's very ageing.

They should have got Rolph Harris in smile

assumpta Fri 11-Jan-13 16:35:26

I agree that it would have been better/nicer with her smiling more openly, but maybe etiquette states that for portraits it should be closed?

StinkyWicket Fri 11-Jan-13 16:39:29

I think it looks just like her tbh, but is really drab and not at all vibrant. It's like those paintings that look like photos that the Mail love so much.

I'd rather have something like the Rolf Harris portrait he did of Her Maj not so long ago. If they wanted something comparable to a photo, they should have just taken a photo!

littleducks Fri 11-Jan-13 16:44:09

I saw it earlier on TV and it looked much better than the daily mail photo.

saadia Fri 11-Jan-13 16:45:36

I like it, really like how he did the hair and she looks quite enigmatic.

discorabbit Fri 11-Jan-13 16:51:39

i really like it too

nipersvest Fri 11-Jan-13 16:55:05

just re-read the daily mail article as dh is quoted in it, he's also been interviewed on the radio today for his comments!

(dh is the president of the royal society of portrait painters)

RooneyMara Fri 11-Jan-13 17:02:13

Wow really? <respect>

nipersvest Fri 11-Jan-13 17:07:57

am also worried as he's currently painting someone potentially controversial for the national portrait gallery, nervous about that being unveiled now!

RooneyMara Fri 11-Jan-13 17:08:28

His paintings are superb though. I don't think you have anything to worry about smile

gazzalw Fri 11-Jan-13 17:10:53

It's not without good reason that the Middletons all looked very glum coming out from seeing it....

Not at all flattering..... maybe if she was getting on for 50 grin...

Moominsarehippos Fri 11-Jan-13 17:17:24

Oh. Its horrid. She looks much older than she is, all jowley and the expression is nasty (cross between pissed off and about to make an acid comment). Bit like me, really.

I thought portraits were supposed to 'say' something about the sitter. This is quite sparse (unless there's more of it and they've just cropped the face).

Sidge Fri 11-Jan-13 17:19:51

I think it's hideous, not flattering at all.

When I fist saw it I thought it was a photo of her, but not one of her best !

That's it really smile

< Waits for critic's awards to flood in for my brilliant analysis grin >

iwantanafternoonnap Fri 11-Jan-13 17:24:50

Hair looks nice though....

thebody Fri 11-Jan-13 17:25:31

Makes her look much older but couldn't really care less tbh.

ipdipdog Fri 11-Jan-13 17:39:13

I love it. She has a smirky and superior look about her. Much more interesting than your average portrait. The painting technically is fantastic

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 11-Jan-13 17:43:17

I think it's good

Bakingnovice Fri 11-Jan-13 17:45:46

It looks just like her.

OK, here's a suitable catty remark for you I've just drummed up .....

.... Is it just a little bit lower middle class to choose an artist who paints in a photographic style - and not in a more expressive/ artistic way ?

< double points as manages to be catty to both Kate and the artist at the same time ! >

RooneyMara Fri 11-Jan-13 17:49:30

'The painting technically is fantastic '


LottieJenkins Fri 11-Jan-13 18:07:58

I think it is hideous..............It makes her look like an OAP!!

Did he aim for an enigmatic Mona Lisa Look?

maggiepy Fri 11-Jan-13 18:39:12

Lovely portrait of lovely lady, we all like it here. And, its a portrait not a digital photo afterall.

YouOldSlag Fri 11-Jan-13 18:43:07

Is it just a little bit lower middle class to choose an artist who paints in a photographic style - and not in a more expressive/ artistic way ?

She has a degree in Art History. I'm surprised this is her choice of artist. It looks fantasy art from a graphic novel.

GuffSmuggler Fri 11-Jan-13 18:51:20

I agree with rooney about the nose - it looks like misshaped silly putty!!! her nose does not look like that!?!

noviceoftheday Fri 11-Jan-13 18:52:33

Oh dear. I have no artistic talent to speak of but i would be quietly wailing if I was Kate grin

SomersetONeil Fri 11-Jan-13 19:03:07

I like it.

I'm also guessing that just maybe, it looks different in real life, as reproduced on the Internet.

gloriafloria Fri 11-Jan-13 19:04:43

It doesn't appear to be a flattering portrait and I couldn't help looking at the nose. It looks like it's been squished - really odd. I agree with others who say it needs to be seen in person hanging on a wall with proper lighting before passing final judgement.

Awful. She's lovely looking irl, too.

Don't know why, but it just occurred to me looking at that that she's only a few years younger than Princess Diana was when she died.

How sad.

behind the times

Damn you stupid asterisk fail. Too much wine.

halfthesize Fri 11-Jan-13 19:17:23

Its awful, she looks strange and old. Shame as she is so pretty, bet she really hates ithmm

She looks like something from the front of a Virginia Andrews novel.
She's a lovely looking woman but this makes her look a lot older and quite tired and drawn.

JollyToddles Fri 11-Jan-13 19:30:27

She's actually my age. The portrait looks my mother's age.

Either the artist is shit or he's done it for the publicity.

Boomerwang Fri 11-Jan-13 19:30:59

I like it. In my opinion, it is realistic. Since the painting is based on a photograph, and a photograph captures reality, then it's realistic.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 11-Jan-13 19:33:06

On a personal level, I'm slightly worried that some of you think she looks like l a middle aged, or older, woman.

Her mother and sister looked like they weren't impressed in photo's of them taken as they left the gallery. I'm not surprised !

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 11-Jan-13 19:34:37

Ok, have looked again. She could be 40 in the picture.

And what is the point of a painting that looks just like a bad photo in this era anyway ? (ie in the age of photography) I don't think the painting adds much.

She is much prettier than the portrait, there's no radiance, which i think she naturally has.

In other news: the daily mail is bile.

lovelyladuree Fri 11-Jan-13 19:45:47

It is a massive portrait. It must be at least six time bigger than her head. It is art, not a photoshopped effort in Hello! magazine. Art is more than the potato prints you all have on your fridge doors.

DizzyHoneyBee Fri 11-Jan-13 19:47:28

I saw it on the BBC website and it didn't look at all flattering. Maybe with the right lighting....!

MammaTJ Fri 11-Jan-13 19:48:16

Oh dear, Orf with his head!

TooMuchRain Fri 11-Jan-13 19:51:45

I don't like the style, it's just imitating an old-fashioned style of photography. Probably looks more like her than photos because of all the photo-shopping!

PiccadillyCervix Fri 11-Jan-13 19:52:14

meh, I always think portraits look shit.. bit black velvet though yes

Oh well if it's six times life size it must be art lovelyladuree

- not like my DC's potato prints hmm

aquashiv Fri 11-Jan-13 20:04:49

It's an impression I think artistically it is good.
However if I were Kate I would be thinking why the feck has he made me look like a cabbage patch doll?

VBisme Fri 11-Jan-13 20:11:46

It looks more like her mother, personally I don't like it, (and I own real BIG art - not just potato prints) hmm

Bessie123 Fri 11-Jan-13 20:23:42

I laughed hysterically for about half an hour when I clicked on the link and saw that pic. It is shit. And hilarious.

Zappo Fri 11-Jan-13 20:33:53

I think the eyes are good actually

Samnella Fri 11-Jan-13 20:42:36

Does anyone remember that programme called 'Killing the kids' or something. They would bring in these families that fed their kids a bad diet and show them what they will look like in 30 years. She looks like that. It's not good.

Yeh, the eyes have it Zeppo

But the skin is all wrong - no lustre and glow as far as I can see - not like our lovely Duchess smile

Bakingnovice Fri 11-Jan-13 20:48:34

The best pic was the one of Ma Middleton and prissy pips walking out ( with matching handbags) looking not v impressed. Hilarious.

LuluMai Fri 11-Jan-13 20:52:53

She looks about 45!

I don't like it it makes her look older and sly.

R4 Fri 11-Jan-13 21:16:58

It's a bad portrait because it's not Kate. Her make-up is usually quite 'hard' and defined - she does not do 'soft focus'. It's also wrong because the colour of her hair does not go with the colour of her eyebrows.

The eyes are the worst bit. In the original photo, her eyes give her a look of some intelligence. In the portrait, her eyes are glazed as if she is half drunk.

Foggles Fri 11-Jan-13 21:24:03

She looks tired in the portrait.

Off with his head! grin

Porkster Fri 11-Jan-13 21:52:46

I think it looks like her, but does not flatter her.

Tigerbomb Fri 11-Jan-13 21:53:44

I like it - it looks like she is smirking or trying to suppress a giggle

edam Fri 11-Jan-13 21:59:01

It's horrible. Manages to have a revolting soft focus appearance while actually making the poor woman look worse than RL, which is a bizarre trick.

duchesse Fri 11-Jan-13 22:20:43

Just saw and I think it looks horrible. Ages her by about 15 years (which is not a problem but why not just represent her as she is now?))

nkf Fri 11-Jan-13 22:24:50

I think people are misunderstanding what it should be. It's a portrait, by an artist. If you want to look better and younger than you really are, you opt for Photoshop.

Yamyoid Fri 11-Jan-13 22:25:46

Awful. I like the comment from the first page about cat bum face. It is true.

RedPencils Fri 11-Jan-13 22:28:14

She looks old and tired.
I bet they don't ask him again!

Yamyoid Fri 11-Jan-13 22:28:58

Portrait's should suggest something of the personality though, nfk. This looks flat and lifeless and just like it's been copied from photos, which it has.

Cerealqueen Fri 11-Jan-13 22:40:44

It looks like one of those pics they do to age you so you know what too much booze and fags will do to you.

plim Fri 11-Jan-13 22:42:58

It's not flattering at all!

doyouwantfrieswiththat Fri 11-Jan-13 23:11:42

I think the artist has made her look a bit scheming with hooded eyes and slightly pursed lips.
Do you think they didn't get along?

Morloth Fri 11-Jan-13 23:13:39

I quite like it.

Pandemoniaa Fri 11-Jan-13 23:16:31

It's an extremely odd, lifeless, portrait. Not helped by the distinct impression that the top half of her face is unrelated to the bottom of it. Her eyes, for example, simply don't match the peculiar half smile. Were it not a painting, I'd have put it down as a beginner's attempt at Photoshop.

DoubleYew Fri 11-Jan-13 23:17:37

I like this from the Telegraph "If Kim Jong Un had such a portrait painted, we'd mock the pitiful taste of foreign despots, says Mark Hudson."

piprabbit Fri 11-Jan-13 23:20:09

An interview with the artist on BBC hinted that he found the process very difficult, perhaps some of his conflict seeped into the portrait.

Viviennemary Fri 11-Jan-13 23:22:48

I don't think it's that bad. It is quite a good likeness. But it isn't flattering and makes her look older. Still it has got people talking and it's not at all glamorous.

MusicalEndorphins Sat 12-Jan-13 03:28:10

Well, we all know she looks nicer in real life, and if she likes it, I guess that is what counts.
If I were her, I wouldn't be thrilled with it though.

Loveweekends10 Sat 12-Jan-13 07:56:07

Strange choice of artist really. He usually paints African animals!

GhettoPrincess Sat 12-Jan-13 08:40:36

Dreadful picture !

I think it looks like a slightly out of focas photo of her!

noddyholder Sat 12-Jan-13 09:19:29

It is ok like her.

hoodoo12345 Sat 12-Jan-13 09:25:15

I think it makes her look 15 or 20 years older, plus it is very boring, they might as well of took a photo of her and had it enlarged.
I do like KM though!

GuffSmuggler Sat 12-Jan-13 10:59:13

nkf I don't think people are saying she should look better and younger in a portrait - just not older and worse!

DeepRedBetty Sat 12-Jan-13 10:59:20

I sincerely hope she was just being polite when she said she was 'thrilled' by it. Because it's bloody awful.

IMO it's a good likeness. Normally Kate is heavily made-up. The artist worked from a photo where Kate put her face on to look natural. As for the expression, well it was Kate's choice to go for that half way house smile. Her full smile which is when she looks her most attractive would have looked scary on a painting of that scale which is a close up image as the artist intended no background to distract the eye.

The artist only had two sittings with Kate. To get the photograghic look the artist used several layers of glazing. A glaze is paint thinned with a medium and oil and applied over a base level of paint. Each layer must be completely dry before applying the next. It's extremely time consuming and technically challenging. Get the consistancy wrong and the underneath can crack give a tree bark effect.

So if you think it's awful do the Nation a favour, paint your own Kate and send it to the Daily Mail.

It looks like it was done by Venture Photography Oil Painting Division est 2012

orangetickle Sat 12-Jan-13 13:34:15

In terms of artistic ability, I'm in utter awe of the artist: amazing.

But is it complimentary in terms of her looks or character? Absolutely not.

shotofexpresso Sat 12-Jan-13 13:34:44

yeah she looks fatter and older, not flattering.

RabidCarrot Sat 12-Jan-13 13:53:25

Makes her look old

funnyperson Sat 12-Jan-13 14:07:42

fortifiedwithtea your comment is interesting. If something is very time consuming and technically difficult does that mean it is necessarily any good? True, for examole MC Escher, one thinks wow thats technically difficult or the Sistine chapel might be time consuming, but those works are good art because they add something to our perception of the thing painted or drawn.
Its the same with a portrait. It isn't sufficient that it might be technically well done or took a long time, but it also has to add something to the viewers perception of that person.
Two sittings is fine- after all there are many photographs and videos of Kate which the artist could have looked at to get a feel for the kind of person she is. Also- changing the colour of a person's eyes seems particularly odd if something is supposed to be like a photograph. In Kate's case (as with most people) her eyes are so lovely. There is another aspect which I find a bit sad- a first portrait of a commoner married into the Royal family presented on or near her birthday should really have been a happy thing- a celebration of Kate's strengths. Its that inner generosity which the artist lacked in himself which I find - well- makes me wonder whether he is such a good paiter after all and didnt just get the colour of the eyes wring and couldn't figure out a background. The hair isn't that great incidentally either. No Rembrandt here for us to marvel at the texture of the clothes or anything. No, its a portrait of a national figure for a national gallery. Send it back and ask for the money back. Demand higher standards of portraiture

funnyperson Sat 12-Jan-13 14:08:27


MissBoPeep Sat 12-Jan-13 14:20:16

I don't like the way her eyes are- on the right eye- left looking at the photo- the iris doesn't fill her eye, and shows too much white of her eye above her lower lashes. There are people who have eyes like this- but I'd never noticed it with her.

Highlander Sat 12-Jan-13 14:47:34

She's a smoker. Portrait probably isn't far off what she looks like

Queazy Sat 12-Jan-13 15:10:36

I thought poor Kate looked really sleepy and agree that her eyes look serious but her mouth is gently smiling, which in my books = a little bit sinister

gazzalw Sat 12-Jan-13 15:17:51

A bit like the Mona Lisa for the 21st Century....

Queazy Sat 12-Jan-13 15:29:59

'Monalisa for the 21st Century'!!!! Ha ha, exactly! The painter will be forever famous.

The biggest problem with it for me is that he has used far too much shadow on the left side of her nose, which is one of 'the reasons you are left with that putty effect.
She always looks so innocent and light and sparkling in her photos that this is a shocking contrast.
For me, it makes her look very calculating, perhaps to reflect the rumors that she went to St.Andrews purely with the intent of bagging william.
Does it do her justice? No, not really but it is a very interesting piece.

YouOldSlag Sat 12-Jan-13 16:02:00

She's a smoker. Portrait probably isn't far off what she looks like she used to be an occasional smoker. It's not like she was on meth! I'm sure she is much prettier in real life.

FreePeaceSweet Sat 12-Jan-13 17:24:06

dh reckons the artists muse is Edwina Currie.

God she should sent the artist to the Tower.

splintersinmebum Sat 12-Jan-13 17:58:40

Kate is a smoker? Really?

cavell Sat 12-Jan-13 18:08:45

"Kate is a smoker? Really?"

She was photographed smoking at the airport in France before disappearing off on the "topless photographs" holiday. The smoking photos haven't yet been published.

As for this portrait... yes, she looks a lot older than 31. But she also looks a lot older than 31 in real life - more like a well-cared-for 40, IMO.

The soft-focus effect is a bit tacky, I think. The portrait looks like something that should be on the front of a trashy romantic novel.

moonstorm Sat 12-Jan-13 18:35:52

But doesn't it look exactly like the photo he was given???

gotthemoononastick Sat 12-Jan-13 18:44:04

fortified with tea knows her onions and gets the teeth thing!Who on here can actually draw?

betterwhenthesunshines Sat 12-Jan-13 18:46:02

I've met her and it doesn't capture her very well. I also saw it and thought it looks like it was painted from a photograph rather than life and yes in that link you can see him copying. I would have preferred to see a looser, livelier painting rather than one trying to be a photographic copy.

MarshaBrady Sat 12-Jan-13 18:53:49

It's really important with a photographic painting to get the positioning and placement right. Otherwise the portrait is thrown by a slightly odd look.

motherinferior Sat 12-Jan-13 18:55:34

I think it's a pretty awful pic but on all honesty I think she is so bland-looking that it would be quite hard to do an interesting one. She is not exactly a woman who cultivates any individuality in her look

I found this link which is much lighter and looks better. I don't know which is truer to the actual portrait.

Looking at it for a while it's sort of grown on me, but I still think her expression looks quite rigid and unnatural.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 12-Jan-13 20:47:23

Portraits reflect the essence of the person not just the physical representation.

Perhaps it just represents the bland, orange, vaccuous little royal wannabe she is. Her and her dreadful 'party planner' sister have nothing to comment on bar their looks and their relentless pursuit of the aristocracy. Neither have ever worked for their living (save for working for daddy or daddy's friends) and make their living hanging off the arms of aristos - what would there be behind the eyes? Nothing.

Perhaps the picture represents that.

inapp I don't agree - I think KM has a sparkle which the artist hasn't captured.

The painting is a bit 'soft focus' but heavy round the face.

moonstorm Sat 12-Jan-13 21:54:36

grin fantastic post!

moonstorm Sat 12-Jan-13 21:55:24


BrainSurgeon Sat 12-Jan-13 22:47:53

I like it. Very clever.

Highlander Sat 12-Jan-13 23:08:12

Apparently one of the topless photos was her having a fag.

Naaaaiiice wink. Look what happened to Auntie Mags.

funnyperson Sun 13-Jan-13 02:28:58

Does one have to be able to draw to like or not like or to comment on a portrait?
Must one play the piano to appreciate Lang Lang? Must one run to be able to cheer Bolt?
Emsley's drawing of Mandela is fantastic. Kate's portrait is not. I don't draw at all. I am not artistic. Nada. Emsley could sneer at me drawing with good reason.
But perhaps innappropriatelyemployed is on the right track and that is what Emsley saw when he painted Kate. I don't think so though. I think he is just better at older faces and can't do young and lively.

RooneyMara Sun 13-Jan-13 07:55:54

I agree the Mandela portrait is good.

I think paint is not his medium, well, going by this anyway.

Fortified - what has the technically challenging thing got to do with how good the painting is?

I don't care how hard he worked on it, it's still no good.

I'd gladly paint Kate. I think she is beautiful and it would be interesting - there's not that many people I'd really like to paint but I would give her a go.

Not that I'll ever get the chance. He really blew it. I feel sorry for him but it's a right botch.

MarshaBrady Sun 13-Jan-13 08:07:36

I would like to see it. Probably packed.

Mandela is very good. If he had drawn her it could have been like that I imagine. I think he found it more difficult in oil.

I say from that image alone, would like to check it out.

RooneyMara Sun 13-Jan-13 08:38:46

inappropriatelyemployed I have to say I think that's a pretty cruel and bitter post.

Nettyporthole Sun 13-Jan-13 10:52:02

I thought she looked like she was going "Hmmmm", which she probably was when she saw the picture. It looks like one of those 1970's oil paintings which everyone's granny had kicking around then...

shitmagnet Sun 13-Jan-13 12:05:29

when i first saw it i thought it was supposed to be one of those criminal artist "what she will be like in 20 years". it looks like a morph of her and the queen

JustAHolyFool Sun 13-Jan-13 12:10:12

Let's face it, it's all a bit this

OliviaPeacein2013Mumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 13-Jan-13 13:04:08

I do really love her hair though <shallow>
but could never be arsed to have it professionally blow-dried every single day, even if I was married to the future King

Bakingnovice Sun 13-Jan-13 13:07:46

She's pretty but not beautiful. And I do think she looks older than her years. As does get mother. If she changed hairstyle and updated her wardrobe and got rid of that dreadful eye liner I think she'd look much better.

Foggles Sun 13-Jan-13 13:08:08

I would hire someone to do my hair & make up before I woke up.

<taking shallow to new depths>

RedPencils Sun 13-Jan-13 13:19:48

I used to work with someone who had her hair washed and blown every other day on her way to work. She used to say she has only ever washed her own hair twice in 20 years. <living the dream>

DrawMeADream Sun 13-Jan-13 13:32:26

It IS very unflattering, but actually I quite like it. It's a bit different from the traditional idea of a wide smiling portrait. I'm not really a Kate fan at all, but quite like her choice here. The expression is one I often see in candid photos of her, and is a bit more 'held back' than a big smile. Seems like a more private look to me rather than her usual public mask.

houseelfdobby Sun 13-Jan-13 14:44:50

I'll go out on a limb here and say I love it. She is a very beautiful woman and the painting captures that reality. Perhaps we are all so used to airbrushed photoshopped photographs that we have forgotten what real people look like? No, the artist hasn't gone for the Barbie doll look with no character, but for something with much more life. I think he captures an intelligence and humour in the expression which a wide grin would lose. I shall go and see it tomorrow and report back again grin. The eyes look stunning.

Yes, does make me want to pop along to the National Portrait Gallery for a wee peek at it too dobby - hope you enjoy your visit tomorrow - I wonder how busy they are ? smile

midastouch Sun 13-Jan-13 16:13:28

She looks so much older in it. Very unflattering!

luvfizz Sun 13-Jan-13 16:47:41

It's horrible!

ironman Sun 13-Jan-13 17:07:54

Dreadful. Makes her look 10 years older!!

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 13-Jan-13 17:15:18

yes, you are being unreasonable. that's what she looks like. old and a bit lived-in. she's thirty. she might not have been around but she's not in the first flush of youth.
i like it. it tells the truth.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 13-Jan-13 17:15:55

is she thirty? he is. he's a week younger than my daughter.

PimpMyHippo Sun 13-Jan-13 17:43:09

I actually really like her expression, I think she looks sort of wry and wise. Not keen on the soft edges or dark background, and I do think the nose looks a bit odd, but I don't think it's terrible or unflattering.

Sleepysand Sun 13-Jan-13 20:50:00

She's 31. She looks like she might have looked if she had a drink problem, in my opinion. Bloated and puffy. Whatever you think of the monarchy, there is no denying she is a really beautiful young woman, and this pic is the kind of thing you would stick on your biscuit tin if you were on a diet.

ZZZenAgain Sun 13-Jan-13 21:07:41

I find my eye always travels to the eye on the right, which is to say her left eye. I don't know why really but the look from that eye is not a positive one. It is a bit gloomy from the colours and that artificial coppery hair framing her face just generally isn't her as I perceive her. I find her brighter than that.

She will soon be a mother and I think that will be a good point in time to mark the change with a new portrait perhaps with richer colours, perhaps a rich red altogether a bit stronger - or on the other hand with much lighter colours, maybe even white clothes with an interesting texture to them and her true hair colour which would I think bring her out better . I think she could dare to have something a bit more glamourous done

hardboiled Sun 13-Jan-13 23:13:32

Awful. But I like the tradition of painting royals in a grotesque light, like Goya. The artist must be a republican at heart.grin

pudtat Mon 14-Jan-13 07:25:17

I think the artist was aiming for a bit Mona Lisa with the smile, something which holds something back and doesn't stick it all on show like every pap shot in the world. She looks like she is struggling to remain more serious than she feels, which is quite nice really. And I think it draws you to her eyes, which the artist says were his key inspiration. I rather like it. I suspect it might tell you more about her than the rest of the pics in the article.

she looks like a 50 year old who has aged gracefully.
Maybe it was meant to give her gravitas?

FaxMactor Mon 14-Jan-13 11:00:03

I think it's fact, even though I'm not that way inclined...I would.

OxfordToLondoner Mon 14-Jan-13 11:02:57

She looks like I feel at 11 weeks pregnant. Grey, knackered and smiling through clenched teeth.

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