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
This latest painting is a commission for a wedding present from a lady to her new husband and son. It's nearly finished, I just need to come back to it tomorrow and correct any glaring errors in skin tone. After a while you just can't see it - a fresh pair of eyes is what's needed! These are the photos I worked from and the portrait was meant to be quite loose but I felt the subjects needed detail to fully appreciate the interaction between them. As usual I've included my step-by-step build up of the painting which is 16" x 20" on box canvas (so I've painted the sides as well).
This commission came through the Ford Framing Shop in Arundel and was quite a challenge. The photograph supplied to work from was old and faded and lacked detail. The final piece is 19.75" x 10.75" so I had to paint the detail the best I could. I started by blocking out the main colours and shadows. The sea on the photograph was just two tone so I was able to paint in a more realistic choppy sea using other reference material, trail and error! I kept adding detail then knocking it back, I didn't want it to look abstract and painterly but it was so tricky to know if I was painting the subjects faces correctly. In the end I checked with the client who was happy with the likeness before adding sea spray with various sized brushes including a washing up brush. I've now got very white fingernails!
Max and Jake are finished after a few more hours of tweaking the colours and textures. My paint palette is disintegrating with so much mixing but I think I've finally got them and the grass is really textured so I'm pleased with it! Just need to choose a frame to set them off beautifully now.
These two little cheeky chaps are coming on but the changes are not so startling as I build up layers of paint. You could play spot the difference if you like or I could just give a quick overview of the work completed at this stage! The background was worked on again which meant covering some detail on the dogs in order to get an even blend of blue without a strange halo around their heads. I put more detail into the grass adding different shades of green, yellow ochre, burnt umber, grey, blue and white. Then I worked on the black dog's fur, adding highlights in different shades of grey, blue and brown, then knocking it back by overpainting dark browns, greys and blacks. I've realised I've got his right eye in the wrong place - I can't see it on the photo so I'm having to guess based on other pictures, but it was going dark in my studio and when I came back to the painting the next day I decided to work on the other dog. Here you can probably see more of how the coat goes through layers of colour changes: pinks, oranges, creams, yellows, browns and greys are added then knocked back with white shades. Finally I worked on their pink tongues and it was dark in my studio again!