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

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Two happy spaniels

This new commission is a gift from a lady to her son who is 40 on the 20th March this year - exactly the same as me!!! I've never met anyone whose birthday is on the same date as mine let alone the same year. Anyway, I started by sketching the dogs onto a 12 x 16" canvas board, painted in the background and picked out the eyes, nose and mouth with black paint. Then I built up texture using texture paste which obliterates most of my pencil marks so by painting in the background, which I just want to be flat, and the features, I stand a better chance of keeping everything in proportion. After leaving it to dry overnight I painted the grass then started adding the shadows and main features of each dog. After that I set to work on the black spaniel, Jake, making sure I painted in the highlights of his coat where I could make them out on the photo (black animals are the hardest to paint well). Then I gave Max, the cream and ginger spaniel, an undercoat and have left it all to dry. I'm not even half way through the painting process yet: when I next go back to it I will begin to build up the layers of colour to create a more 3-D effect, correcting the colours as I go and referring to the other photographs supplied. This is the bit that takes the most time but worth it for the end result!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Beach sunset

This large painting is of Freshwater West Beach in South Wales was commissioned by a couple who got engaged there at sunset a few years ago. It was a tricky composition and I have seen photos and paintings of this beach taken from the sand dunes further round the bay but Mr and Mrs Leppard wanted the view from the south side of the bay. I started by drawing a grid onto a 24 x 48" deep edge box canvas and a corresponding grid on my reference photo so I could get the rocks in the right places.Then I painted the edges dark red to tie the canvas into the couple's room decor. I built up texture on the canvas using texture paste then painted the shadows and rocks in black. Next I added colour, building up from light to dark and referring to a variety of alternative photographs of sunsets and skies. My aim was to create a mood rather than a totally realistic sunset as originally the brief was to limit the painting to just three colours.