Yesterday artist Daniela Reich published this great pencil portrait of Ronnie, on twitter.
If you don’t know Daniela, here is an article written by Hector Nunns (inside-snooker) before the World Championship.
Always fancied a portrait of your favourite player, or something for the club walls beyond a bog-standard photo? Then salvation may be at hand in the form of Austrian artist Daniela Reich.
Snooker has been fortunate over the years to have had a number of talented painters and caricaturists – not to mention pro David Grace – take an interest in the sport and its leading names.
And another enjoying a growing reputation and profile within the sport is 31-year-old Daniela from the town of Altheim, who produces high-quality pencil portraits.
A quick browse through Daniela’s web site, www.reichdaniela.com in German and English, and you will find an eclectic mix of pictures of snooker players, her friends and family, movie stars and the Downton Abbey cast.
But as she looks forward to the World Championship at the Crucible, why the particular love of snooker?
Daniela says: “I first got interested in snooker during the World Championship 2012. My granny had been a huge snooker fan for years and I began to see it was a very fascinating game.
“She explained to me some of the rules and I watched the rest of the WC at home. I fell in love with snooker right from the start and I have been hooked since then!
“In 2013 I attended the Paul Hunter Classic in Fürth, for the first time seeing it live and really enjoyed the atmosphere and meeting some players.
“Since then I go up to Fürth, which is about three hours away from where I live, every year and I’m looking forward to it all year round. It’s great watching the snooker, chatting to and getting some pictures with the players, and meeting other snooker fans.
“John Higgins is definitely my favourite player, I’m also a huge fan of Joe Swail, Alan McManus, Martin Gould and Ali Carter.
“Some snooker players bought a drawing but they asked me not to make it public. I did a drawing of little Finley, the son of Kyren Wilson, I was very happy about this commission.
“I also got a commission from Allan Taylor for doing a drawing of his late friend and coach Vic Harris, which was really an honour for me.
“It’s difficult to choose a favourite drawing, but it has to be one of the recent ones, as over the last year there was quite some development in my drawing style; my latest drawings have got even more realistic.
“My favourite snooker drawing is the one of Paul Hunter I’d say, apart from that I did a drawing of Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, I really like that one, too.
“If I post drawings of players on Twitter I get reactions from most of them, they often like and retweet the drawing, some tweet me back, saying thanks, telling me they really appreciate it.
“Some even use the pictures of the drawings as profile pics. It’s nice and I’m always happy if players are recognizing my work!”
Daniela has had other jobs, having worked in an office and as a personal assistant. But with the orders coming in thick and fast, her passion became a full-time career rather than just a sideline.
She adds: “I did my first pencil portrait in school when I was about 14 and my teacher was pretty surprised how good it was.
“When I was 16 I started doing some drawings at home, still lifes and moved on to drawing portraits of my favourite actors and musicians.
“Soon my parents thought that I might have some talent. They encouraged me and bought me some proper pencils and drawing paper. Until then I used only one single pencil on copy paper.
“When I was about 20 I did drawings of my grandparents as gift and they all loved my drawings. As I got older I lost interest in drawing a bit and other things got more important.
“That was until 2014 when I drew some snooker players and posted them on Twitter. The snooker community seemed to like them from the start and I started doing it seriously as a freelance.
“Business was pretty good right from the start and since then it’s my main job. I’m really happy I could turn my passion into profession and if the order situation continues to flourish I really can make a living from it. It would be great if I could also do prints of my portraits.
“Portraits are definitely my favourite. I did some still lifes and landscapes, they were nothing special.
“All my drawings are done with art pencils; I also tried charcoal pencils but they didn’t work for me. I use pencils in five different strengths, paper stumps, brushes and art erasers.
“The drawings are made on a very smooth Bristol paper now. After sketching the features I work out the details step by step, then shading and highlighting. Each drawing takes me about six to eight hours.”
Much as I love spending time with the snooker-playing fraternity, sadly I must confess I didn’t want any of their mugs on the wall at home.
But appreciative of Daniela’s work and coincidentally on the lookout for something along these lines I commissioned three portraits of my wife and two daughters (no need for one of me spoiling it!)
They are superb, just what I wanted, and will have pride of place in the hall in the house.
Further details and prices at www.reichdaniela.com