A few weeks ago the owner of this beautiful spaniel called Pimms contacted me through my website to ask if I could do a commission of her. It was to be a birthday present for her partner Clive. She had found me by googling ” animal artists in Herefordshire” and chose me because she liked the quality of my work.
We travelled down to Dymock in Gloucestershire to met Victoria and Pimms, and my wife Cath took a series of photographs from which Victoria chose her favourite. I do prefer to take our own photos to get the best possible detail, light, contrast and character. The eyes are particularly important to get perfect as they can make or break a portrait. Victoria chose E but which would you have chosen?
I completed this portrait using soft pastels and pastel pencils on Canson Mi-Tientes Touch pastel 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. A ( rather poor) quality video of how I created Pimms can be found HERE. Victoria collected Pimms yesterday and gave it to Clive last night as an early birthday present – but also as a Valentine’s gift……These photos are of Pimms, her portrait and Clive….a delighted and delightful family!
This osprey is one of two that I am undertaking in pastel as a commission. I am using my favourite combination of soft pastels ( usually Art Spectrum but sometime Rembrandt if the former does not have the shade I want ) and pastel pencils ( Derwent, Cretacolour or Conte once again depending on the shade I need).
I find it interesting that as soon as I start on the background, in this case a moody sky, the painting starts to take shape. Depth and detail is enhanced and the picture comes to life even though it is far from finished. You can see this from the comparative photos above…..
This is a very time consuming piece, as I enjoy ( well maybe that is too strong a word!) capturing the details – the colours and textures of the feathers, the outstretched claws ready to land on the ( invisible) branch, the eyes fixed on it’s mate nearby ( you’ll see her soon….) A story being told in an instant…..looking forward to sharing this story with you in subsequent posts…..
Back in March my detailed pastel artwork came to the attention of Alice Fenner of the Retired Greyhound Trustcharity through twitter and she contacted me regarding my undertaking a portrait of a retired greyhound. We agreed to a reduced price ( to cover my costs ) and completed the portrait by mid April. You can read more HERE…..
The finished commission is to be used to raise money for the charity through the sale of Christmas cards that have my portrait on them and you can see them HERE…They look great and I am buying some for myself. Have a look and support a charity that gives these beautiful dogs a chance of a good life in a loving home!
With “that” time of year far too rapidly approaching why not consider something different for a loved one – a commissioned portrait? Whether it be of your beloved pet, child or partner I can create something unique that will last a lifetime. Having undertaken many commissions I understand what is needed to create high quality, detailed portrait so contact me through my website, phone or email address for more details. Look forward to hearing from you and to making Christmas day extra special for your loved one!
I have had a enjoyable week, meeting lots of friendly people who have appreciated my artwork and Cath’s garden ( open tomorrow afternoon for the NGS) I have had 36 pieces of artwork on display, as well as a Work In Progress video for people to see how I create my detailed pastel artworks. I have also greetings cards for sale of my work and a few examples of previous commissions. So I like to think we have offered a unique insight into my artwork and lifestyle and hope to welcome more people over the next two days – I hope that you may be one of them!
For those who have been following my progress on this detailed commission in pastel you will be pleased to know that the children’s mother, Helen, is delighted with the final portraits. I just need to adjust the highlights in the hair of James and Brody but otherwise she is very happy and so am I. I had a few problems with Mirabelle as she was shy and not keen on Cath taking her photo, so her personality is not captured as well as with her brothers. However Helen understood that and is still very pleased with the end result of her daughter’s portrait. A happy client is my aim and has been achieved! I will post progress photos and videos soon here and to my Pastel Work In Progress facebook page. Enjoy your evening!
This is 15 year old Cosmo, as always completed in soft pastels and pastel pencils, and I am very pleased with how he has turned out. As you recall, my wife Cath took the photographs and the children’s mother & I chose the best ones of each. Mirabelle will complete the set on a 50cm by 70cm sheet of Art Spectrum Colourfix paper. The commission overall is shaping up very nicely and it would great to be able to encourage more people to commission me for their loved ones. Something special to last a lifetime….
This is Brody, as always completed in soft pastels and pastel pencils, and I am very pleased with how he has turned out. My wife Cath took the photographs and the children’s mother and I chose the best ones of each – you can see Brody with James below. I have just started the third son, Cosmo, and it has taken me about 60 hours to get the necessary detail on each brother so far. I will be posted a full “work in progress” in due course with more details of how I use pastels and pastel pencils. You can see more of my work on ivanjonesart.co.ukfacebook.com/ivanjonesart and facebook.com/pastelworkinprogress!