As I prepare for our open house art exhibition as part of Herefordshire art week September 8th to 16th I am always looking for subject matter to create appealing, and saleable, artworks.
During H-art in 2017 I sold a duckling “Wait For Me” and when this image of a duckling and it’s reflection crossed my radar I knew it fit the equally “appealing” category.
My technique as always is to create an outline to work from then select the range of colours of pastel pencils I need. I flipped this image to give variety and then printed off a photograph of the subject ( in this case the duckling ) and study the lights and shades of the feathers, eyes, water, reflections and so on. This allows me to chose the correct colours to work with.
I then work basically from left to right to avoid smudging. Where I make the first stroke of the pencil will depend on the subject matter. You can see some photos here of me at work and more of my working methods on my Facebook page
I have also posted a video of my working techniques on YouTube…..you may find it only works properly on phone and tablet for some reason……
Each time I start I don’t know how it will work out but as the colours and layers build I feel more confident in the outcome. It is slow and patient work but I enjoy the creativity and the outcome is usually worth the effort. Come and see it in September!
This is my latest pastel artwork which will be for sale at my open house exhibition during H-art (Herefordshire art) week between September 8th and 16th. The reference photo was taken by Javier De Lucar who has a page on Flickr. Permission given.
I have posted this painting on some facebook group pages as well as instagram and people seem to like the power and detail in the image. This piece took about 30 hours.
Here are some WIP’s included above for your interest. They show me using a polystyrene as a pencil to blend in details before adding more layers of colour to increase depth. Also finger blending, adding details with various shades of pastel pencil, sharpening a pencil and so on.
As usual my medium of choice is ArtSpectrum Colourfix paper using Derwent, Faber-castell, Conte a Paris and Cretacolour pastel pencils for details. The background is applied using Rembrandt and Art Spectrum soft pastels. Enjoy your day!
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 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!
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!
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…..
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 is my latest video showing how I create my detailed pastel artwork of a robin. The start is a bit blurred but it improves!
I have often been asked to share how I create my artwork and started a Facebook page called Pastel work in Progress for this purpose. There you will see that I started with individual photos, then collages, and now videos. I am still refining my video techniques so any constructive criticism would be much appreciated!
For those artists of you, the materials for this artworkare Rembrandt soft pastels, with Derwent, Cretacolour and Conte pastel pencils on pastelmat paper.
I worked from a photograph my wife took, giving it depth, vibrancy and a 3D effect. I have used a polystyrene foam stick for blending the more detailed areas and my fingers for larger areas. The sandpaper and blade are used to create a sharp point that allows me to create fine detail that adds the extra dimension to the image. As with most of my artwork, this took 25 to 30 hours to complete.
I hope you find this video of interest. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me! “Cheeky chappy” is currently for sale at Sable and Hogg gallery in Brecon, Wales…….