Hey, ever heard of Jonathan Yeo? He’s this awesome portrait painter from the UK, painting everyone from big shots like Sir David Attenborough to cool cats like Cara Delevingne. And guess what? He thinks portrait painting is still rad even though we’re drowning in a sea of selfies every day.

Doing His Own Thing

So, get this: Yeo didn’t go to art school. Nope, he’s totally self-taught. But that didn’t stop him from becoming a big shot himself. His style? It’s like a mix of classic coolness with a touch of modern flair. The National Portrait Gallery even had a whole show dedicated to his work. Not bad for a guy who figured it all out on his own.

Passing on the Tricks

Now, here’s the scoop—Yeo’s not keeping all his portrait-painting secrets to himself. Nope, he’s spilling the beans and recorded some lessons for BBC Maestro. It’s this subscription thing where experts spill their skills. So, you can learn the art of painting cool portraits straight from the guy who’s been doing it for almost 30 years.

Portraits vs. Selfies

Yeo’s got a point about selfies being everywhere. But he says painted portraits bring more to the table. See, a photo is like a freeze frame, but a painting? It’s like a time-lapse of a person’s vibe. You’re not just stuck with one look—they evolve as you get to know the person. It’s like hanging out with them over time, catching different sides of their personality.

Cara Delevingne: Model Turned Groucho Marx

Imagine painting someone as cool as Cara Delevingne. Back in the mid-2010s, she was rocking the modeling world and diving into acting and writing. According to Yeo, she wasn’t into sitting still. Nope, she wanted to have fun. So, they ended up with this museum collection in Denmark where Cara was in a different performance mode for each portrait. Yeo’s favorite? The one where she threw on a Groucho Marx disguise. You could barely tell it was her!

Taron Egerton: Elton John Vibes

Yeo also painted Taron Egerton, you know, the guy who played Elton John in Rocketman. Yeo wanted to capture the whole actor vs. character thing. It’s like, where does Taron end, and Elton begin? So, he painted Egerton in one of Elton’s movie outfits, blurring the lines between real-life and on-screen. It’s a pretty cool way to show the fluidity of identity.

Funny Stories Behind the Canvas

And get this, Yeo’s got some funny stories from his portrait sessions. Kristen Scott Thomas, another actor he painted, messed up the dates for an exhibition in Denmark. She showed up a week early! But instead of freaking out, she ended up helping Yeo set up the whole thing. Talk about a happy accident.

In a nutshell, Jonathan Yeo’s journey from a DIY artist to a big deal in the portrait game is pretty inspiring. He’s not just painting faces; he’s capturing vibes and personalities. And now, he’s passing on his tricks so you can do it too. Who knows, maybe you’ll paint the next big thing!

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