This portrait has taken quite a while to complete, from taking the photos at Heather’s home in December to presenting the completed portrait to her this Tuesday ( February 5th ). This is the comparison with the commission nearly complete.
I am happy with the completed painting and I think she was too, though she said she has never liked photos of herself. Her husband was very happy with the likeness, however…here I am sharpening some pastel pencils….
Below is a collage of few “work in progress” photos. As usual I work on Artspectrum Colourfix paper using a variety of pastel pencils for the details and soft pastels for the background. See more of these sort of collages HERE.
And the completed portrait is below. Enjoy your day!
I have hit the ground running for the New Year. Having completed the Christmas gift commissions, I am working on the first of four commissions for 2019 with a few more in the pipeline.
Heather, my current portrait, contacted me after I was recommended to her. My wife Cath and I went to visit Heather at her home and took a large number of photographs until we had one that appealed to her and to me. These are just a sample…..
We have found it takes a while for people to relax and not feel self-conscious about being photographed. I remember a commission I did in the summer of “Brian” – it took nearly 100 photos and lunch at ours before we got the perfect photo….no point in having a posed one from a studio! But we enjoy the experience and the outcome too!
I will be posting the completed portrait of Heather soon and possibly a video of creating her eyes for those artists of you…Enjoy your day!
As I continue to actively promote my website and my artwork that is for sale there, I also am working on artworks for my next art exhibition. This exhibition is called “Out of the Hills” and runs between the 1st and 16th of June at Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan, Shropshire.
Having sold my first nuthatch in 2017 I thought another nuthatch may be a popular choice for my next pastel artwork. I sourced a reference photograph by Erik de Rijk from Dreamstime.com
This is me at work on the nuthatch using a pastel pencil to add texture to the feathers. Such lovely birds that we rarely see here, living as we do with fields all around. They love peanut feeders in wooded gardens…a very special visitor.
This pastel painting will be for sale at Out of the Hills so see you there in June!
After my open house art exhibition during H-art ( Herefordshire art ) week in September 2018 I was approached by Dick M to undertake a commission of his lurcher Betsy for his wife for Christmas.
Knowing that the most important thing for a good portrait is a good photograph my wife Cath and I made a visit to Dick’s home and took a range of photos of this rather nervous, but friendly, dog. The best image was achieved when Betsy was in Dick’s arms……
Betsy was undertaken using a mixture of pastel pencils ( Derwent, Conte a Paris, Cretacolour and Faber-castell) for the details of eyes and fur, and soft pastel for the background, on ArtSpectrum Colourfix paper.
I was very pleased with the completed portrait and so was Dick. He sent me a text saying: “I thought you would like to know that the picture was a great success. Margaret was thrilled with it, and friends and family all admired it. Thanks to your good work I am the flavour of the month! All the best Dick”
As you know I find commission work very rewarding, especially when I can give the owners a unique painting that will last a lifetime. I am currently working on a commission for one of my clients – this will be the third portrait they have commissioned so I must be doing something right!!
However this is my most recent completed commission, Liesl, collected by her owners on Wednesday. Briony ( who lives in Australia) contacted me after she had seen the portrait I completed of her grandfather Brian earlier in the year. Liesl had belonged to her sister Megan but had passed away earlier this year.
Briony got together a range of photos and we chose one that had enough detail and showed Liesl’s character. When Megan saw the completed portrait she was delighted and moved as it was a complete surprise. So pleased to have been able to provide her with something special that will make her smile everytime she sees it…..
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!