It is always good when a commissioned artwork is finally given to the owner so that it can be shared with you!
Usually I am asked to undertake a portrait, whether animal or person, for a birthday and so cannot reveal it until after the date of the gift giving. And so it was for Hugo, the labrador.
I was contacted by Paula, who has purchased and commissioned a number of pastel artworks from me, earlier this year. She asked me to undertake a portrait of "Hugo" for her niece, Lucy's, birthday on August 4th.
As Paula lives in Chelmsford and her niece lives in Sunderland I had to work from the photos that were available to me. I usually prefer to take my own photos but as this was not possible, and Paula wanted a portrait of Hugo as a puppy, we came to an agreement about the best photo to use as reference. These were the choices - do you agree with the final one chosen?
It is important to remember that not only do we have to consider the pose, but also the detail ( some of the above were not good enough quality when zoomed in ) and the personality - it is essential that the reference photo transmits this.
Anyway - we decided ( with Jonathon's help ) on a crop that would give the most detail of Hugo's head and I went to work. This is a 2 minute video ( covering two hours of work) as I add details to the ears and face, and start on the left eye. Here I am using soft pastels and pastel pencils on Colourfix pastelboard.
You can see the reference photos I am working from and that I am using transparent film ( with the outline of a previous commission! ) to rest my hand on so I don't smudge the pastel. The paper has a slightly rough surface ( or "tooth" ) which holds onto the pastel and keeps it in place.
I am delighted to say that both Lucy and her husband Jonathon were very happy with the completed portrait as you can see from the Instagram post by Hugo!
If you want to be like Hugo and have a unique, detailed and realistic portrait undertaken then please get in touch. I will be only more than happy to help you through the commission process, from choosing the best photo references to deciding on frames colour and size.
I look forward to hearing from you soon! 😉👍😁