A great response to this recent family portrait commission

“Thank you so much for our wonderful portrait picture Ivan. You have achieved, to our delight, just what we wanted including an obvious emotional connection of us and the dogs. With many thanks! Gilli & John”

This is the best response I could have had from what was a challenging commission. The challenges started from the time the photos were taken in mid June 2019 by my wife Cathy through to the end including choosing the best frame to compliment and feature the details of the artwork…..

I had completed a commission previously for Gilli and John back in 2015 and Gilli purchased a hedgehog painting from me in 2019.

Portrait commission and purchased artwork in situ Ivan Jones pastel artist
Previous commission and purchased artwork by Ivan Jones pastel artist

This time she wanted a “family” portrait with herself and John plus their two dogs. We knew the best reference photographs for such a large commission had to be taken by us, so we went to their home in Malvern in June to take them.

The weather was perfect and we took over 100 photographs of all types – of the family together, everyone individually, indoors, outdoors…..This gave us a range of photos to get the light, the details of eyes, the perfect position of head, body and so on. We then went through all of them with Gilli until the best of each person and dog was chosen…..

Chosen photos of Gilli and John for portrait commission Ivan Jones pastel artist
Reference photos chosen from those taken in June 2019

At home these chosen photos were combined by my wife Cathy into a single collage which was sent to Gilli for her approval.

Collage of reference photos

Once this had been received, the next 70 hours over 8 weeks was dedicated to the portrait. The response to the completed painting, as seen above, made the hard work very worthwhile!

Gilli and John family commissioned portrait Ivan Jones pastel artist
Completed family and pet portrait commissioned artwork, Ivan Jones pastel artist

You can see more of the creation process on my Youtube channel in due course, and a snippet of the artwork creation is on my Facebook page……

Excited to add the “Live Preview” to my website catalog – see my artworks in your home!

UPDATE – this Live Preview option has a few teething problems so please be patient when using…..many thanks!

For a long time I have been admiring websites that have various types of “augmented reality” which allows you to see items in context, in 3D and so on. 

I have also seen many other sorts of “art-selling” websites and the option to see artworks in context, has been a major draw for me as I imagine for others.

But finally I have been given the chance to add a “live preview” option to my artwork catalog and I have added it to 18 of my detailed pastel artworks. The others will follow in due course – I have to photograph them in their frames and some are at the Sable and Hogg gallery currently.

As the app developer of “Picture It” says:

Picture It allows your shoppers to snap a picture on their phone, upload from their computer, or preview “live” (augmented reality) what a product you sell will look like in their space. They can evaluate whether it matches colors, will “fit” in terms of sizing, and more. When a shopper uses Picture It to preview a product, they’re given the option to add that product to their cart or download/save the image to their device for further consideration. 

This is great for you! If you go to the catalog and chose an artwork that has “LIVE PREVIEW available” then you will have the option to see that artwork in one of 6 preset rooms. 

High rise accommodation Live Preview options Ivan Jones artist
High rise accommodation Live preview room 2 Ivan Jones artist
High rise accommodation Live preview room 3 Ivan Jones artist

Or you can download a photo of your room and view the framed artwork in your own setting. 

There are options to enlarge or reduce size depending on the frame size. You can also add you own room dimensions to better visualise how the artwork and frame will fit in with your room and furniture. 

This ( amateurish ) video will give you an idea of how it works…….

I hope you enjoy playing with this Live Preview feature and maybe even consider purchasing one of my unique and detailed pastel artworks to cherish forever….. 

Have a great day and catch up soon…..I am always here if you have an questions or concerns! 

So pleased to be asked to create this unique commissioned portrait of a very special dog

It is always nice to be asked to undertake a commission for someone and it is also privilege to create something unique. I was approached in the autumn by a friend of an aquaintance, who my wife Cath knew through the Haven Breast Cancer charity ( read more about my involvement with this charity here )

Ivan Jones artist supports the Hereford Haven

This friend, Pat, was considering having a portrait done of her dog as a Christmas gift for her husband. Cath’s acquaintance, Mandy, suggested that I was just the person to undertake this commission so Pat contacted me in due course.

The key to a good, accurate, portrait is having detailed reference photo so we arranged to visit Pat at home to take such photos. We were delighted to meet Chewbacca, a beautiful, gentle Labradoodle with such character that you could not help but fall in love! 

We spent some time taking photos indoors and out, then went through them all with Pat on the laptop until she and I agreed on the one that showed off her character but also was something I felt I could work from. 

Chewbacca reference photos for pet portrait. Ivan Jones Artist

I started with a basic outline of Chewie created using a digital projector – this allows me to get all the proportions correct which is essential for a lifelike portrait. The paper used was my favourite Artspectrum Colourfix. I then spent 25 to 30 hours building up layers, adding detail, blending, adding more detail…..you can see a little of my technique for Chewbacca on YouTube…..

Building up layers on the nose. Pet portrait. Ivan Jones artist

The final portrait was completed and collected in early December and Pat was absolutely delighted. After Christmas Pat emailed to say “Barry was delighted with his picture and, as I did, shed a tear.  He couldn’t get over the detail and how well you had captured her essence.” 

Chewbacca pet portrait framed in situ. Ivan Jones pastel artist

I am very pleased to have been able to create this unique piece, to meet such a nice family, and to have another happy customer!

Delighted to be invited to be part of an exciting charity fashion event with my artworks

When my wife Cathy had treatment for breast cancer in 2011, an important part of her recovery involved sessions at the Breast Cancer Haven in Hereford. These sessions included massage, acupuncture, shiatsu, group discussions and other holistic therapies. You can find out more about the Haven on their website.

Photo of the Breast Cancer Haven in St Owen Street, Hereford

When I was President of the Knighton and District Rotary Club last year, I chose the Haven as one of my charities to support. We were delighted to be able to donate £500 to the charity and it was doubled by the UK government under the “Big Give” scheme.  

Cathy Jones, speaker Di Emmett from the Breast Cancer Haven, Ivan Jones Knighton Rotary
Ivan Jones when Rotary Club President with Cathy Jones and Haven speaker Di Emmett

A week ago one of the fundraising team, Rachel, got in touch and invited me to display my artworks at their Blossom Fashion Show on April 5th. This show is in a sports hall and they have space for artisan stalls to be set up. I will have a table to show off my smaller original pastel artworks, prints ( mounted and unmounted ), greetings cards and mugs. 

Ivan Jones pastel artist stall at the Wigmore Show in 2017
Ivan Jones pastel artist stall at Wigmore Show 2017

The main aim for this event is to raise money for the Breast Cancer Haven in Hereford. I will pay for the stall and a percentage of any sales made on the night will also be donated to the charity. In addition, if I receive any commission work directly as a result of my presence at Blossom then I will donate a percentage of that to the Haven too. 

Wigmore show 2018 stall prints cards Ivan Jones pastel artist
Ivan Jones pastel artist stall at Wigmore Show 2018

I am proud to be able to support a charity that was such a big part of Cath’s recovery and I feel priviliged to have been invited to take part in this exciting event. I hope to see you there, on April 5th in Hereford at The Point 4 leisure centre, Venns Lane, HR1 1DT. Looking forward to it! 

A detailed pastel artwork – a woodpecker – added to my newly revamped website

Hello my friends and I hope 2020 has started off well for you.
I am always looking for popular subject matter and woodpeckers have a great appeal as they are quite difficult to spot except for their distinctive call. The reference photo for this particular woodpecker, looking into it’s nest, was taken by Terry Hancock and captured my imagination.

Ivan Jones pastel artist sharpening a pastel pencil while working on the woodpecker artwork

As with most of my artwork, this great spotted woodpecker is completed using soft pastels and pastel pencils on Artspectrum colourfix paper. The sharpened pencils create the detail and the background is blended using polystyrene sticks to give the three dimensional effect to the completed painting. It is now for sale on my newly revamped website bit.ly/39Gxywc Have a great day and catch up soon! 🎆🎨👍😉😁

Ivan Jones pastel artist website catalog entry for woodpecker artwork

A great way to show off pastel art technique and skills by using hyperlapse video!

It has been a busy week as I have been working on a commission that is a surprise Christmas gift for a lady who found me by searching “pastel artist” on Google. She had a commission done in previous years by a local pastel artist but could not contact her so found me! This is a glimpse of the work in progress…..

Vintage car, spitfire plane, commissioned artwork, Ivan Jones pastel artist
Commissioned artwork in progress

Now that this commission has been completed and sent by courier today to Suffolk, I can start on my next commission – a portrait of four young people. I am not yet sure whether it will turn out but I will keep you posted…..

But in the meantime, back to hyperlapse videos, the original subject of this post. As you may be aware I have a YouTube channel that displays a variety of “artwork in progress” videos that my wife Cathy has created over the years. 

You tube channel screenshot Ivan Jones pastel artist
My YouTube channel of artwork in progress videos

She has struggled with Vegas “Movie Studio Platinum” as well as a variety of free video software package apps. The most viewed video she created was of me doing the Christmas Greyhound commission but even this is not very good…..

Christmas greyhound YouTube video Screenshot Ivan Jones pastel artist
My most popular artwork in progress video – the Christmas Greyhound

Recently we have been aware of videos that showed artists at work, but sped up to cover hours in minutes. We did not know how this was achieved until we discovered the hyperlapse video setting on our mobile phone. Eureka! This is my first one  of a badger that is still waiting to be completed once I have completed my commission work…..

Early stages of badger artwork in progress Ivan Jones pastel artist
Badger artwork in progress photos as of today
You tube video Ivan Jones pastel artist working on badger artwork
My first hyperlapse video of badger artwork in progress YouTube

And so Cath can now record a complete video of my artwork creations – 25 hours in 25 minutes ( or less after editing). It has also been suggested that I do a voice over for the videos but we’ll see…..So I am looking forward to sharing more “artwork in progress” videos with you soon….have a great day!

Excited to have a number of detailed artworks accepted by the Sable and Hogg Gallery in Brecon

It can be very difficult for any artist to find a gallery to display and sell their artwork. Always a challenge. However I was very fortunate a number of years ago to visit the Sable and Hogg Gallery & Framers and as the owner at the time, Paul Millis, was a pastel artist he was keen to have my detailed pastel artworks in his gallery.

Sable and Hogg gallery shop front

At that time the economic climate pre-Brexit was good and I sold a number of artworks with him. However as things changed it became harder for Paul and as he decided upon retirement he sold the gallery to Catherine Arnold and her daughter Evie.

Artworks sold Ivan Jones pastel artist at Sable and Hogg 2016

It was fortunate that just as the changeover was occurring Paul sold my kingfisher pastel painting and then a month ago Catherine sold one of limited edition Running Hare prints.

Ivan Jones pastel art sold in 2019 at Sable and Hogg gallery

This week I took some of my artworks across to Brecon and Catherine took four pastel paintings and a framed print to display in her delightful gallery. We shall await the outcome and will keep you updated! And of course this is the place you can see the quality of my artworks for yourself as well as enjoy a most beautiful part of the world – the Brecon Beacons…… 

Artworks for sale Ivan Jones pastel artist at Sable and Hogg gallery

Thinking of Christmas and the best way to promote portrait commission work.

As Christmas approaches (far too rapidly!), and as I complete my current pet portrait commission, ( which is a surprise gift ) I have been thinking about gifts to my family and what would be special. As usual I come up with the possibility of a commission and that makes me think “why not promote my commission work and my availability to undertake them”.

Attention to detail Ivan Jones pastel artist pet portrait commission

With two commissions in the pipeline but no pressure on either I have put together a collage of my pet portrait work for posting on TwitterFacebook and Linked In. Depending on the response I will post elsewhere too…..What do you think of it?

Ivan Jones pastel artist pet portrait promotion Christmas 2019

Before I posted this, I went to my Instagram friends to get feedback which was very useful as you will see in my feed….other artists allowed me to finetune the collage from this one below to the one above….very helpful and shows the power of social media….

Ivan Jones pastel artist pet portrait commission draft 1

I also was inspired to use Facebook more by an artist I met at the British Ironworks Museum called Lee Morgan who uses an airbrushing technique. Lee gave me some tips as to how to increase my FB followers and I will share those with you in a future post, once I have decided how to best utilise them…..So have a great day and if you want a commission done, you know who to ask! 😁

Ivan Jones pastel artist dog portrait commission poster

It’s back to the easel now, after a successful exhibition is over.

Well, it is a few days now since we dismantled our exhibition at the Makers Mezzanine in Whitney on Wye in Herefordshire. We enjoyed the 9 days of H-art (Herefordshire art ) week this year as, unlike in previous years, we were able to visit other venues across the county……

H-art 2019 at the Makers Mezzanine Ivan Jones pastel artist
H-art 2019 at the Makers Mezzanine Ivan Jones pastel artist

We did meet a lot of people during our exhibition as we attended the preview on Friday September 6th and stewarded on the afternoons of the 10th and 12th. It was great to hear feedback from visitors about the venue as well as my artwork and it was all very positive. And we sold the hedgehog as well as numerous greetings cards….bonus! 

Ivan Jones pastel artist at Makers Mezzanine preview with Emma Bevan and guests
Ivan Jones pastel artist at Makers Mezzanine preview with Emma Bevan and guests

Over the 9 days there were 670 visitors to the Makers Mezzanine compared to my average here at home of 150! So although I could not showcase my studio, work environment and garden ( as well as 36 artworks) as I do when I open my studio to the public, we certainly had much more exposure at the gallery.

Ivan Jones pastel artist exhibition H-art 2018 at home in Wigmore
Ivan Jones pastel artist exhibition H-art 2018 at home in Wigmore

H-art also allowed me to see what other venues may be suitable for next year’s exhibition. I also have an opportunity to exhibit in a new gallery in Crickhowell in mid-Wales so watch this space for more on that soon!

Crickhowell and galleries
Crickhowell and galleries

So on we go with commission work. My current one is a surprise for Christmas. It is a dog portrait and you can see me working on her on my instagram feed. Luckily it is her whiskers that make her so unique – until I add them, she just looks like a spaniel…Next I have a family portrait – husband and wife with their two dogs – and then an olive tree for a friend who has a house in Northern Cyprus!  

Gilli and John family portrait reference photo collage
Gilli and John family portrait reference photo collage

Note that this reference photo is a collage of four photos combined to make one.

So have a great day and if you ever want me to create something special for someone special then you know how to find me! 


Balancing the creation of artwork with the promotion of artwork and with life in general!

It has been a busy few weeks with my Rotary commitments but I have managed to finish another kingfisher and nearly finished a woodpecker for my next exhibition at the Makers Mezzanine in September. Each artwork takes 25 to 30 hours so you can see why it is a slow process!

It is always a bit of a pressured time in the summer because not only do I need to produce new work for H-art ( Herefordshire art week ) but also there are the commitments of the garden and so on. Getting the life balance is so important, as any artist will tell you…..there are lots of blogs on it

Ivan Jones picking tomatoes in the garden
In the garden picking tomatoes

But it is still enjoyable to create my detailed realistic artworks to exhibitsellcommission, and share on social mediaPinterest and Instagram is a great way to see what subject matter appeals to others and hence help me decide what artwork to undertake next…..

Ivan Jones artist instagram page July 2019
My instagram page as of July 15th 2019

The other thing I enjoy is sharing my techniques with others and hence my facebook page “Pastel Work in Progress” has quite a following. I also have posted some “Work in Progress” videos ( of varying quality ) on my YouTube channel

So until my next update, I hope you enjoy your day, whatever you are doing, and catch up soon!