Interview with Historic Artist Laura from Life Long History Lover

We're all history lovers here, and we express our passion for the past in different ways. Some of us write articles, blog posts or books. Others walk around stately homes and castles and visit museums. Others capture incredible photography. And others, like Laura from the blog Life Long History Lover, draw. 

It was Laura's incredibly detailed pencil drawing of Anne of Cleves that stopped me scrolling idly through Instagram one day. Curious about she got into history, what motivates her and how she creates such stunning drawings, I decided to get in touch.  

Anne of Cleves, by @historyart10, with permission

I love your drawings, based on historical people! Have you always drawn, when did you start? What inspired you to mix history and art in your work? What mediums do you use - do you stick to pencil or use watercolours or other things? 

Thank you very much! I can’t remember a time where I didn’t draw, I have always enjoyed it. I have drawn a few historical portraits through the years, but last year during lockdown here in the UK, I started my Instagram and shared some of my historical portrait drawings online. People were really kind, and it encouraged me to create more. Sharing my artwork and love of history online was really helpful for my anxiety, it kept me focused on something and I met a lot of like-minded people too. 

Drawing from a historical portrait is a great way of noticing all the details that you might not have previously seen when you first glance at a painting. You really have to zoom in to see all the intricate details. This year, as well as continuing to draw famous historical portraits, I would also like to draw/paint them in my own style too. I also plan on drawing some famous portrayals from historical films/TV series.

I use pencil, watercolours, gouache, and for line drawings I use fine liners. I can’t draw as much as I’d like to, because I have a problem with my back, and it hurts to sit down for long periods of time.  

Anne Boleyn, by @historyart10, with permission

How did your love of history emerge? Do you have a favourite period in time that you like to read about? 

It started with Dinosaurs! The first time I remember being obsessed with the past was when I discovered dinosaurs, I must have been about 3. After that I learnt about the Ancient Egyptians and Tudors at school, we did some amazing in-depth history projects. 

My favourite history periods to read about are the Viking age and the Tudors. I am also really interested in the Bronze Age – I love it all! History is such a great form of escapism for me. 

Sibylle von Cleve, by @historyart10, with permission

What's your history guilty pleasure? 

The ultimate history guilty pleasure for me, would be a day out to a historical site, something I planned on doing a lot last year, but none of us did much going out in 2020, did we?! I also love reading history books and watching historical documentaries. I am such a geek, my idea of relaxing is watching a documentary and researching my next Instagram or blog post! 

You can catch up with Laura and follow her work at Life Long History Lover or check out her Instagram and Twitter feeds. 

Also have a look at Sketching Historic Buildings, An Interview with Historic Photographer Matt Emmett and my posts on Drawing Hampton Court Palace and my (hopefully) historically accurate portrait of Anne Boleyn. 

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