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
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Friday, 11 January 2013

Portrait of a couple

This commission I started a while ago and is needed for a wedding in May this year so has been sitting on one of my easels and been added to bit by bit. Now the Christmas backlog has gone and I've found a corner in my cottage (albeit a temporary spot) in which to paint, I will be able to focus in earnest. I played around with the composition initially but ended up coming back to the original crop and angle of the photograph and sketched it onto the canvas board. The bottom half of the painting is going to remain loose and painterly and their faces painted with more definition. I started with the idea of dripping the paint on the bottom of the canvas but I wasn't happy with the result so blocked in more of their clothes than originally planned. The beauty of acrylic paints is that I can experiment with each paint layer until I get it right. Keep watching as the portrait is now at its worst phase and will only get better from here. When I teach portraiture, this is always the place where most students lose heart - first you create a drawing and finally get the features in the right place, then you 'kill the white' (as Rolf Harris puts it) by putting on your first layer of paint. With the shadows and base colours in place you start to apply more detail, changing your loosely painted but interesting abstract into a badly painted school project! I have learnt this is part of the process and a beautiful painting can be achieved if you push through the pain barrier at this point. I hope it doesn't prove me wrong on this one!!

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