When I was asked to undertake a commission for the Smith family I was a little concerned as the three dalmations, that had been part of the family’s life for over thirty years, had all passed away. The only photos they could provide me were taken by older cameras and mobile phones, with some in slide format……
Now Rohan ( left ) and Baggins ( right ) were acceptable, though the detail was not the best when enlarged. But what was I to do with Strider ( in the middle ) where the reference photo had to be digitised from a slide 20 years old or more? In a flash of inspiration I searched Pinterest and found a reference photo of a dalmation with the same head position as Strider…….
Using this attractive image I then produced a rough sketch of Strider using the marking from his photograph and sent this to Sheila ( who has commissioned me ) to see if she felt it resembled her memory of their first dalmation……and she did!
This gave me the confidence to proceed with the these portraits, knowing I could produce something that was special to the family. The next step was to decide on the layout of the three dogs. By printing the chosen images onto plain paper then cutting them out I could provide Sheila with different arrangements for her to decide the one she preferred. These ones below are a sample…..By the way, the one she chose was not the one I would have chosen, but it is important the client has full control at this stage……
Once the layout was agreed upon I was able to happily proceed with the project which took me about 70 hours to complete in soft pastel and pastel pencils on Art Spectrum colourfix paper. Each dog had it’s own challenges but I am pleased with the outcome and so were both Sheila and Kim ( the latter who had a big birthday and who was presented with the portraits in the past week…..)
I thought this may be of interest to those of you who want to use Instagram but do not have a tablet, ipad, iphone or android phone……
I am most comfortable on my laptop but wanted to share my artwork through one of the best social media apps around. I searched the internet and after trying one of two different window based apps I found Gramblr to post to Instagram…..
There is also the option to increase your exposure through the site. After posting you can add hashtags and tag people as you would normally. You can also get likes, after posting your image, through the app…..a good way to get more followers too…..See more on the Instacentric website ( below )
It has a few hiccups at times but it has not affected my computer and is so useful for sharing my detailed pastel artwork to the general public……and it is free! Well worth a look sometime……tell me what you think! www.ivanjonesart.co.uk
I have talked elsewhere about my recent commissioned pet portrait of this delightful terrier Dave but now I am very pleased to be able to post the completed painting as his owner, Hayley, received him today.
Her aunt Paula and her husband Keith had commissioned Dave’s portrait late last year, following a commission of a robin I completed for them at that time.
I was then delighted to meet both Keith and Paula at the Palace Art-fest in June 2017 which was held at the Bishops Palace in Hereford. There they kindly purchased “A moment’s reflection” to add to their “Ivan Jones Pastel Artist” collection!
I have a number of clients who have purchased more than one of my detailed pastel paintings and commissions and, although I am thanking Keith and Paula today for their support, I would like to thank everyone who has bought, enjoyed and appreciated my attention to detail! It makes all my hard work very worthwhile!
Although last year was busy with commission work, and this year has started off in he same vein, it is good to be able to exhibit my pastel artwork in a range of different locations. This also increases the number of people who see my art and who can appreciate how much I pay attention to detail.
My first exhibition is at Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan where I have been invited to join 12 other artisans in displaying artwork from June 2nd to 17th 2018. More details to follow……
My next one will be at home here in Wigmore during H-art ( Herefordshire art ) week which runs from September 8th to 16th 2018, every day 10am to 5pm. As in previous years I will have original pastel artworks, cards, mugs and prints for sale. Our garden will be open for the NGS on the final day Sunday September 16th….hope to see you!
My last exhibition for the year will be at the Leominster Tourist Office Gallery which is a wonderful light and airy space in Corn Square in Leominster, Herefordshire. This will run from December 1st until December 24th 2018, just in time for Christmas! I will have a range of more Christmas themed detailed artworks with cards, mugs and prints available. So an exciting year ahead – hope to see you sometime in 2018!
Very pleased with the outcome of my latest commission, this lovely border collie called Daisy. I can only show you part of her as she is waiting to be given to her owner as a birthday present.
By paying attention to detail I have created a unique portrait to last a lifetime. I used mostly Faber Castell pastel pencils for the blacks and greys but also have various other shades in Derwent, Conte and Cretacolour. I have left the background as the colour of my favourite Artspectrum Colourfix paper in grey. Don’t forget the short video of me adding detail to the eyes which is on instagram…..
I am starting my next commission now but don’t forget that I can do something special for you too! Look forward to hearing from you and enjoy your day!
This portrait proved very popular when posted on my instagram page recently and sold during my open house in September 2016.
Characterful faces seem to have an attraction to viewers and I enjoy giving them a detailed 3D finish using soft pastels and pastel pencils. A sharp reference photo to work from helps enormously and I get permission from the photographer wherever possible.
Why not commission me to undertake a portrait for you? More details below…..
It is always nice to see an artist at work and a video is a great way to do this. My wife has taken many short videos of me creating my artwork over the years and I have had good feedback from them…..this is my YouTube page where you can see me paying attention to detail…..
When I first started selling my pastel artworks online I needed to find a safe way to send a framed painting both in this country and overseas.
After a lot of research and chatting to Facebook groups I discovered a brilliant padded transit box from Lion framing supplies
I then had to find a courier and have ended up with Fedex for overseas and UK mail (under the iPost Parcels umbrella ) for the UK market though I have used both UPS and DHL – the latter being a disaster and NOT recommended…..
This photo shows the packaging around my latest framed pastel artwork commission.
Lots of foam padding around the work then a sleeve fits over the top before it is taped and labelled.
Very pleased to say that “Dave” arrived safely today and is now on the wall of his owners home. Always good news – and they love him too! Even better!!
You too can commission something special from me that you will love and will last you a lifetime – contact me. You will not regret it!
This is just a glimpse, for you, of my latest commissioned portrait – more details to follow once he has been given to the owners. I usually try to take the photos of the animals ( and people!) whose portraits I paint but in this case the terrier lives in Devon and the family who commissioned me to do his portrait live in Essex!
The reference photo ( below ) was taken by while he was lying on the floor hence my comment ” the eyes say it all”. He watches everyone and waits for his opportunity to have a treat or go for a walk or get involved in a family activity.
The eyes are also crucial to a portrait – if you get them wrong then the whole painting lacks any depth or character and hence the importance of a good reference photo with as much detail as possible.
As always I have used sharpened pastel pencils to create the detail here of the hair, eyes and nose – combined with the layering of colour I like to think it gives a 3D effect to the completed portrait.
I sent a photo of the completed commission to the couple who commissioned me and the wife cried. That’s a great response!! The painting will be sent by courier on Tuesday to arrive on Wednesday……now onto the next portrait – a border collie called Daisy! Enjoy your day…..
I went through a phase a few years ago of painting various sorts of boats in pastel. Seeing some of the artwork and photos on Instagram of yachts and sailing reminded me of this one which I sold a few years ago.
I would do this differently now, especially the sea and sky, but it is still a striking and dramatic image. It was created, however, using my usual materials – soft pastels and a variety of pastel pencils, the latter sharpened to a point to capture the detail.
The original photo reference was taken by an unknown photographer but to that photographer I would say “many thanks!” I try now to make sure I ask the photographer permission before using any photo as a reference.
It can be a difficult to trace photographers, especially on pinterest But I do my best and often search for photographic references from free sites such as pixabay.….
I am currently completing my latest commission of a terrier which I hope to post soon – or at least part of it as it is a birthday present…..so see you then!