Wednesday, 29 October 2014

PORTRAIT OF MILES - Progress photos

PORTRAIT OF MILES by Sea Dean - Final Version Scanned

View 2 - Lights and Darks
Portrait of Miles progress photos

View 1 Finished Portrait

I love to paint portraits. There is no reason that a portrait of a pet should have less importance than the portrait of a member of the family. Pets have just as much if not more character, and they certainly have an important role in the family. This is MILES, much loved friend of my clients. 

I usually start a commission by getting a clear idea of the expectations of my client. We discuss imaging - theirs or mine, type of substrate from watercolour paper to different types of canvas and board, size, type of paint, varnishing, background colours etc.

Once I understand my clients expectations I give a quote. I take 50% non refundable deposit before I start with the remainder due on completion.

View 3 - Mid tones and angles
Some artists like to offer their clients a step by step picture show of the progress of the work. I'm not comfortable with this because a portrait can go through many ugly stages before it is finished and not
many clients understand that they are just the underpinnings of the work.

Once I get close to finishing I usually clarify the colouring of several important areas like the nose, eyes, paw pads etc.

Then as a final flourish, if the client is local I invite them to an unveiling and present them with my certificate of authenticity and some business cards for referrals. I then email them a portfolio of progress shots for their files.

View 2 Establishing position, darkest darks and lightest lights. In this case the client wanted watercolour paper with extra around the sides so the finished work could be matted and framed. The lines you see roughly establish the finished picture when framed.

View 4 - Working on upper layers and colours
View 3 Adding mid tones, checking angles and negative spaces. This is a crucial stage which establishes the success of the painting so this takes time. Most of this will be painted over many times before the painting is finished but it helps integrate the colour.

View 4 Working on the upper layers which are often thickened with gels. Small adjustments of positioning continue to take place. Edges of the subject are considered and background colour and brushstrokes established. This is when I start to "push" the colour and check juxtaposition of compliments.

As you see the portrait goes through many stages and most of the time looks pretty poor. All the work that goes on underneath the final layer is just as if not more important than the final layers, but they're not pretty.

PORTRAIT OF MILES by Sea Dean
10" x 8" Canson Arches Board - Room Light
The lined edges disappear in the final stages as I put in background with energetic brushstrokes to mimic the busy nature of a terrier.

Now taking commissions for holiday giving. Please allow at least 4 weeks for completion.


REF 14168 Portrait of Miles