Delighted to share a happy customer with you, and her family....

It has been a strange time over the past few months hasn't it? With lockdown affecting our ability to share with our friends and family, as well as restricting our travel plans and holidays, it seems many people are looking for other ways to create special memories.

I have noticed a marked increase in requests for portrait commissions since lockdown, and I think that this may be part of the reason. In fact, Kevin ( who has commissioned portraits of his dog and two rabbits ) confirmed this by saying that he had intended to travel around Italy for his wife's 40th birthday but instead he decided to have the commissions done for her....more on this in due course....

 Kevin's reference photos for pet portraits. Ivan Jones pastel artist

Early in June, I was approached by Chris to undertake a portrait of his wife Mary for her birthday on July 9th. I had spent a little money on Google Ads and I think this helped extend my reach, as Chris lives in Essex. I think that COVID-19 made him think, too, of how to create special memories..... 

I was happy to do this for him and after explaining the sort of photos I need to undertake my detailed and realistic artwork we came to agreement as to the best one to use as a reference photo. This is the first set of photos he sent me:

Rejected reference photos of Mary. Ivan Jones pastel artist

After a few emails with my observations as above, Chris finally found the perfect photo with good detail in an excellent and natural pose - what do you think?

 Chosen reference of Mary. Ivan Jones pastel artist

As I always feel a head and shoulders portrait gives the best detail and expression of character ( the extra clothing and so does not add much don't you agree?) I cropped this beautiful photo as below and that is the one I worked from!

Mary's photo cropped and sharpened. Ivan Jones pastel artist.

Now that I had the perfect reference photo I created the following portrait using soft pastel ( for the background ) and a range of pastel pencils on Artspectrum Colourfix paper.

This video shows you some of the process involved in creating this detailed and realistic portrait of Mary


If you can't see this creation video then the link is here......

And this is the completed portrait of Mary. 

Mary's commissioned portrait complete. Ivan Jones pastel artist.

You can read also more about the materials I use here and in a future blog as part of my "All about pastels and pastel art" series.... 

 And this is the reaction to the painting on the day of Mary's birthday:

Hi Ivan, 

Thank you so much again for the great work. She absolutely loved it and so did her growing army of "mini me"’s lol.

So much so that she’s like another piece with the children this time.

I will be in touch soon. Best wishes and many thanks again. Chris 




So I am delighted to share this commission with you and if you like this portrait, and the attention I pay to details, then why not get in touch?

Let me create a very special memory for you to last a lifetime!  

In the meantime, take good care, stay safe and catch up soon! 👍😉😁




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