Kevin Line

After a period in industry and commerce, Kevin spent 20 years as a freelance garden designer.  Only on his retirement in 2008 did he turn to fine art, and in particular to portraiture.


His grisaille portraits quickly attracted attention in the art world, and in the short period he has been working he has exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait painters, the Royal West of England Academy, and extensively at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.  In 2012 He was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, and has been proposed for full membership at the next election in 2014.


From time immemorial man has been fascinated by his own image.  With the Renaissance, man himself replaced God at the centre of the universe, and the portrait became the natural expression, in art terms, of this new emphasis.  Great portraits can be looked at again and again and yield something new on each viewing; they represent a moment of truth, and the way the personality is captured tells us something about the sitter, the artist, ourselves, and the human race all at once.


Kevin's portraiture is, for him, a means to an end; an attempt to really understand the emotional language of his fellow man.  In order to be able to draw you have to observe intimately.  Thus, by drawing, you hone your observational skills, and through observation comes comprehension.  By practicing his art, he not only improves his understanding, but also hopes to convey that understanding to the viewer.  His intention is, not just to capture a likeness, but also the emotion, mood, and to a certain extent the personality of the sitter.


His works are not strictly drawings, but grisaille paintings using charcoal dust and his fingers.  Nevertheless they are underpinned by good drawing practice.  He is a realist.  He does not seek to flatter his sitters, but to get behind the skin and to capture their reality.   By working in monochromes he is able to strip any hint of sentimentality from the painting. The resulting pictures are truthful, often darkly introspective, almost voyeuristic, but, most importantly, very human.

He is absorbed by monochromatic shapes, form, and tone, and the subtlety with which this conveys information, but most vitally, drawing is the medium in which he can think.