How I Created A Commission From Slightly Blurry Photos

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……

Reference photo collage.jpg

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…….

Strider and pinterest.jpg

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!

Strider-sketch-800.jpg

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……

Cut outs collage

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…..)

Completed collage.jpg

If you want to see more of my pastel art techniques have a look at my Pastelwork in Progress facebook page and my Ivan Jones Art you tube page……catch up soon!

New owner is delighted with my portrait of her terrier Dave

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.

Dave-wm-1600

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.

Robin-2017-wm

Keith and Paula have been very supportive of my artwork, having first purchased “Cheeky Chappy” a robin pastel painting from the Art2Arts website then “Sepia Tide” a seascape from my website.

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!

A-moment's-reflection-collage-wm-light.jpg500

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!

 

 

Appreciating the attention to detail makes for a unique portrait

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.

Daisy-crop-20.1

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…..

Fullscreen capture 19012018 114257.bmp

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!

CALL TO ACTION

 

A video glimpse of the creation of my latest commission

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…..

Fullscreen capture 19012018 141420.bmp

This is my latest one which you can see on my instagram page as well as my “pastel work in progress” facebook page…..see below

Fullscreen capture 19012018 140909.bmp

Have a look at one of my videos which shows how I pay close attention to detail which makes my style of work ideal for commissions…..

CALL TO ACTION

Enjoy seeing me at work and enjoy your day! Catch up soon……

A great way to send a painting on it’s way…..

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

Frame-Transit-Boxes-C-705x535mm-6235-02.jpg            Frame-Transit-Boxes-C-705x535mm-6235-03.jpg

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.

in-foam-1200

Lots of foam padding around the work then a sleeve fits over the top before it is taped and labelled.

packed-1200

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!

The Eyes Of This Delightful Terrier Say It All

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.

 

Dave-eyes-photo

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.

eyes-pencil-crop-ws

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…..

This delightful robin, commissioned for Christmas, is completed

I am not the only one who loves robins……I completed this robin last month as a commissioned gift for a couple in Essex who have bought and commissioned a total of five of my pastel paintings.

They first saw my work on the Art2Arts website and purchased “Cheeky Chappy” from there. Then they bought sepia seascape from my website and purchased a duckling from my display at the Palace Art-fest in June.

They then commissioned the robin ( above ) for Christmas and a terrier for a birthday in February. Their support is very greatly appreciated!

 

This original photo was captured by gris379 from pixabay and I modified the background.

I used Rembrandt and Artspectrum soft pastels for the larger areas of colour and then added the details using a mixture of Derwent, Cretacolour, Conte and Faber-Castell pastel pencils.

Each one has a different effect, depending on whether it is hard or soft, and of course the gives me a huge ranges of shades to chose from.

The paper is Art Spectrum Colourfix paper which has a texture similar to a very fine sandpaper ie it has “tooth” to hold onto the pastel firmly and reduces “shedding”.

You can see more of my technique on my facebook page….

Fullscreen capture 09012018 144819.bmp

Sharing my 2017 pastel artworks…..

Well, it is nearly the end of 2017 and I thought you may like to see the sixteen artworks and commissions I completed this year. I have also posted this on Instagram to thank my 1000 followers there…..why not join me there too? I have one more commission to complete before Christmas then on to the first of nine commissions so far for 2018. Thank you all for your support and catch again shortly. Enjoy your day!

1000 followers 10 wm

My latest commission delights it’s owner

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?

which-would-you-chose

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 slideshow requires JavaScript.

My portrait of a greyhound will be on charity Christmas cards.

Back in March my detailed pastel artwork came to the attention of Alice Fenner of the Retired Greyhound Trust charity 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!