Delighted to see my artwork on Woodmansterne Christmas cards

Early in 2017 I was contacted by the card company Woodmansterne . They had seen my “Donkeys in Snow” painting on my Instagram feed and wanted to use the image  for Christmas cards.

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I was quite flattered as you might imagine and, after contacting Flora Lee who had bought the original painting, I gave them permission to use the image. I was paid a small sum and promised some cards for my own use once they had been printed.

Late last week I was surprised to open a box that arrived by courier contained quite a few packs of my Christmas cards from Woodmansterne. They had cropped the original image and called the donkeys “Christmas Morning”

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I was also very pleased to see that the cards were for the NSPCC childline charity which makes them all the more special. They will be available shortly from local stockists…..Enjoy your day!

 

Very Happy After A Successful “Out Of The Hills” Art Exhibition

When I was invited by mixed media artist Maggie Davis to exhibit in a new art exhibition called “Out of the Hills” I was very pleased to be considered.  As the annual ” Palace Art-Fest” in Hereford ( usually held in June ) had  been cancelled I was able to say yes.

Maggie had met me through Facebook and Twitter and felt I was a good fit with the  eleven other invited artisans for this exhibition to be held at Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan, Shropshire.

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This well organised and beautifully laid exhibition was a success and I was delighted to sell three of my detailed pastel artworks. In this age where art is considered a luxury item it was a surprise to be honest.

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Many thanks must be given to Maggie and her husband Kim for all their hard work to get this exhibition off the ground. I hope I will be invited back next year…..

 

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……

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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…….

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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!

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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……

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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…..)

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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!

Posting easily to Instagram from your laptop

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 )

and also on the Software Informer website ( see 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

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…..

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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 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

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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.

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

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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.

 

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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.

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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…..

Sharing my love of dramatic seas and skies

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.

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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!

 

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….

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