A Swindon artist honed her skills by painting 75 characters from BBC soap opera EastEnders.

Tracey Stebbing of Eldene always wanted to be an artist but the opportunity did not present itself until she was an adult

“Since I was really young I liked art,” she said.

“I am self-taught really as when I left school it was different to how it is these days, they didn’t really encourage you.”

The 59-year-old then had the opportunity to do so and practised with a unique artistic subject in mind.

“I’ve got more into painting at the age of 32 when I did paintings of the EastEnders characters,” said Tracey.

Swindon Advertiser: Tracey has painted a variety of people over the years.Tracey has painted a variety of people over the years. (Image: Shaun Perret)

“I did two to three a week after copying them from the front of the TV magazine and I did these over the course of five years, totalling 75.”

Tracey prefers to paint or draw people rather than objects or landscapes.

“I like to do different characters and people as I’m fascinated with drawing eyes as you can really capture that person,” she said.

“Getting a good a likeness to the person is a real achievement to me.”

The artist admitted that some people are harder to paint than others.

“I painted the Queen mum and that was a hard one as she was elderly and had a lot of detail,” said Tracey.

“I would say that was the most difficult one I have done so far.”

Swindon Advertiser: Tracey painted as many as 75 characters from BBC television show Eastenders.Tracey painted as many as 75 characters from BBC television show Eastenders. (Image: Shaun Perret)

Tracey finds that her art can be therapeutic in dealing with loss too.

“I also like drawing for people who have lost people and I have done these for free,” said Tracey.

“Ever since I lost my brother six-and-a-half years ago, I have wanted to help other with dealing with their loss.”

Tracey works as a waitress in a luxury apartment’s restaurant but her passion lies with art.

“Since pursing art I have drawn and painted hundreds of pieces and I would like to do my art fulltime but it’s just not reliable enough,” she said.

“Being able to do my art is lovely. I have so much passion for it and I am at my happiest when I am doing it.

Tracey takes commissions on her website, charging £25 per drawing and £75 per painting.