It is always nice to be asked to undertake a commission for someone and it is also privilege to create something unique. I was approached in the autumn by a friend of an aquaintance, who my wife Cath knew through the Haven Breast Cancer charity ( read more about my involvement with this charity here )
This friend, Pat, was considering having a portrait done of her dog as a Christmas gift for her husband. Cath's acquaintance, Mandy, suggested that I was just the person to undertake this commission so Pat contacted me in due course.
The key to a good, accurate, portrait is having detailed reference photo so we arranged to visit Pat at home to take such photos. We were delighted to meet Chewbacca, a beautiful, gentle Labradoodle with such character that you could not help but fall in love!
We spent some time taking photos indoors and out, then went through them all with Pat on the laptop until she and I agreed on the one that showed off her character but also was something I felt I could work from.
I started with a basic outline of Chewie created using a digital projector - this allows me to get all the proportions correct which is essential for a lifelike portrait. The paper used was my favourite Artspectrum Colourfix. I then spent 25 to 30 hours building up layers, adding detail, blending, adding more detail.....you can see a little of my technique for Chewbacca on YouTube.....
The final portrait was completed and collected in early December and Pat was absolutely delighted. After Christmas Pat emailed to say "Barry was delighted with his picture and, as I did, shed a tear. He couldn’t get over the detail and how well you had captured her essence."
I am very pleased to have been able to create this unique piece, to meet such a nice family, and to have another happy customer!