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

Monday, 30 September 2013

Another Special Portrait

This is another special portrait of a very glamorous lady called Val who sadly is no longer with us. Her husband, Maurice, has commissioned this painting from a very clear photograph (which always helps) and I'm changing the blue feathers to red! I started with a primed 16 x 20" canvas board and sketched her in a portrait format. When I was happy with the likeness and composition I applied areas of flesh coloured acrylic paint by mixing cadmium red, white and yellow ochre, and dark brown for her hair and eyes. I continued to use glazes of colour to build up the varying skin tones by including crimson, violet, cadmium yellow and raw umber into the mixes. I like to get the eyes and mouth right early on in a portrait as this is where the character of a personality of the person starts to shine through. I haven't put all the dark areas in yet but the shapes and hues and tones have placed them nicely. I added some red feathers to help me visualise where this colour might reflect on the face. Now with the basic layers of colour laid down I am working on tonal values to bring her out of the canvas. Keep posted as there's still some work to go...

Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Special Portrait

This is a portrait of a lovely lady called Linda who very sadly died of cancer last year. Her husband, Tom, commissioned me to paint an 18 x 24" acrylic portrait of her onto a box canvas and sent me the few photos he had to work from. She had a sparkly warm smile which I wanted to capture on the canvas so I started by painting the whole canvas a warm pink colour, which I picked out from her blouse. When that was dry I sketched her head and shoulders onto the canvas and as the graphite didn't show up terribly well I continued drawing with paint and blocked in the main shapes and colours. Once I had mapped the features and was happy with the under-painting I started to build the layers of paint to create the skin tones. The pink acted as a lovely binding colour on the face, as the fine glazes still let some of the colour come through, but it was a strong colour to leave in the background which I had always intended to paint dark green. At this point I sent a photo of the portrait to Tom who also wasn't keen on the pink, so that helped with the decision to go green! I still liked the idea of keeping some of the pink showing through to create harmony across the whole picture. Painting the background darker had the effect of highlighting her blouse, so after painting in her hand and working more on the overall skin colours, I focused on the pattern on the blouse. This was a painting in itself and took quite a few layers to get right! I worked on her jewellery and eyes until I was happy I'd got them right then referred to other photographs to complete her hair.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Pastel of a Hong Kong Rescue Dog

This is Casper, a beautiful Hong Kong rescue dog of mixed descent, whose portrait is a large 16 x 20" pastel painting! A lot of photos were sent across and the pose chosen for the head shot. I started by sketching the outline lightly on Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper then blocking in general areas of colour, pushing the pastel into the tooth of the paper. These were generally cream, white, yellow ochre, orange and dark brown. After this base layer was thoroughly smudged I added more tonal contrast, concentrating on the eyes and nose details and adding a strong second layer of white. Next I introduced a wide range of colours into the coat including pink, purple, yellow, red, grey, browns and even green! These colours when blended together give stronger shadows and a more interesting, natural looking coat, even though the photos didn't reveal a huge amount of detail for me to follow. I started to add texture using flicks of differing colours using pastel pencils, checking the tonal values matched the photo. Finally I sharpened up the details in the eyes, nose, mouth and ears, still keeping a soft look for the fur.