Welcome to my pet and family portrait blog. If you have commissioned a portrait you can see how it is progressing. If you would like to commission me to paint your pet, family or friend then visit my site at www.katetugwellportraits.com
Fancy learning how to draw and paint? See my art classes website at www.katesartclasses.com

Friday, 26 March 2010

Brighton Pub Licensee

Here is the finished picture of John Woodruff. His friends originally thought they would like him to be painted in a blue checked shirt which he usually wears around the Swan pub in Falmer but I decided that big blocks of unfussy colour were needed to pull him away from the complicated background. Also the colours of his waistcoat and red tie compliment the warm colours of the bar and the atmosphere of the pub. All it needs is a chunky gold frame around it which I'm hoping will be accomplished within the next couple of weeks and he will be ready to star in his own bar!

More Paintings of People

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Brighton Pub Licensee

So, can you tell what's missing? Told you this is like spot the difference! These stages firstly deliver detail into the top right corner finishing the bottles, then I put more detail onto the Leffe pump and glassware on the right before adding more detail on the actual portrait of John himself. I worked on after the natural light had gone from my studio so I may come back tomorrow and shriek! I already think he's looking a bit pink but another day and I should be able to finish it.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Brighton Pub Licensee

Four more stages of John Woodruff's portrait. By-the-way, this is a surprise birthday present for him, so if you are following this blog and you also know who John is, don't tell him!! Having worked around the top I started to paint the Leffe lager pump. There is a lot of detail in this portrait and I had to work up courage to start on the second layer with the gusto it needed. I decided to work on the top left corner and keep going at it until I was happy it was finished. This took hours of work over two days and may not look like I've made much of a difference but glass is one of the most difficult things to paint (that and water). Finally I was happy enough to move onto the easier (!) task of making John look more lifelike. Keep watching... next time an item will disappear from the painting. Answers on a postcard please... (one hugely naff prize to be won).

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Brighton Pub Licensee

This is the start of a new commission to paint John Woodruff, the licensee of the Swan in Falmer, near Brighton. I started drawing him a couple of weeks ago and despite being supplied with a lot of lovely photos of him outdoors and at various events, I had to pick the best pose of him and put him behind his bar. I think he looks like he belongs there despite being cobbled together! After applying three layers of Gesso primer to a board I started to paint blocks of blacks and browns before adding ochre and red to the top left corner and working across. Then my arm started aching so I put a splodge of green on my palette and worked on the bottom of the board for a while. I concentrated on the detail a bit more before painting a rough wash on John himself.

London Training Company Portraits

Last week I took a day trip to London to deliver the two portraits of Mike and Raj. Here they are taking their rightful place on the Rogues' Gallery in The Mouse Training Company offices in Worship Street on the outskirts of the City. I had to rehang them all to put them onto two rows and to create space for a few more. Keep watching for future additions. I then took advantage of being 'in town': walked along the Thames, lunched in Spitalfields Market, popped into galleries, had a cuppa with the Queen etc. And it was very, very cold (the weather not the tea of course Ma'am)!

Friday, 5 March 2010

London Training Company Portraits

Here are the finished portraits of Mike and Raj. I'm planning to take them up to London and hang them amongst their other colleagues on Monday so I hope they like them!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

London Training Company Portraits

Four more stages of Mike's portrait. In the first instance I added highlights to Mike's face then took a photo before it had completely dried so the flash reflected back more white. This makes him look like he's been playing that game where you have to retrieve a sweet from a pile of flour using only your mouth and some wisecrack has pushed his head further in! This must be the case because in the next stage he looks pink with embarrassment. I've added more shadows and highlights and finally more yellow, red and green to bring the portrait on. Still got a fair way to go...

Monday, 1 March 2010


At the end of last year I drew Arnie, a real character of a dog with big lips who seems to like sporting sunglasses to amuse his owners. Here he surveys himself. What a fine figure of a pooch!