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 is a large pastel portrait commissioned as one of two to go into this couple's home. The first is a slightly more formal portrait of their wedding day, painted in black and white pastel on duck egg blue Canson Mi-Tientes Pastel Paper. Firstly I played around with the composition as they wanted the building to feature and I wanted them to be prominent. After sketching them carefully onto the pastel paper I started to mark out areas of white and decided that to give the picture depth I would whiten the sky. This had the effect of pushing the tower forward before I'd even started adding shades of black. Next I focused on getting the tower in and the complex brickwork of the building. I started at the top and worked downwards to minimise the chance of smudging, but it needed a number of layers of pastel and careful blending. It took a lot longer than anticipated and some very contorted drawing angles as I couldn't rest my hand. The tree at the top was easier, adding additional interest to the picture and giving my arm a rest! I love the effect of the subtle duck egg blue with the black and white and originally planned to use the paper as my mid-tone but the building needed more weight so I introduced a warm grey. I started drawing the couple's faces with pastel pencils, the level of detail was tricky to achieve as the smallest particles of pastel dust can completely change the features, so I kept going back to it, adding tiny dots of black or white and smudging with the pencil tip. The glass houses I kept deliberately vague and light but used them to link the building with the couple. Finally, after feeling completely happy with their faces I worked on the detail in the white of her wedding dress and finished with the black of his suit. This feels like a particularly fragile portrait and I'm looking forward to getting it framed and protected, but I'm happy with the finished result.