Last year (2017), I started receiving Christmas orders as early as September, which kept me busy throughout the season. From mid-October onwards, I worked 10-12 hours a day, creating a schedule list for each day to ensure that all the portraits were completed on time. Some orders were from overseas, and I had to make sure that any frames ordered were received well in advance as framers tend to be very busy during the festive season. My goal was to finish all the orders a week before I travelled to my hometown of Chesterfield, but I worked late into the night before my journey.
Fortunately, everything went smoothly, and the person who commissioned it met me at the train station in Chesterfield to collect the portrait of Star the Chow Chow. The painting had travelled with me for six hours on a bus, coach, and train inside my suitcase. The lady who commissioned the painting gave me a lovely bunch of flowers. I was delighted to see the recipients' positive comments on Christmas day after receiving their beloved pets' portrait. Click on any of the images to visit the progress pages.
I've completed all the Christmas commissions and took a well-deserved break to recharge. Now, I'm back in the studio, creating new articles and planning exciting art workshops for 2018 on my Step by Step Art website. There are numerous tasks to accomplish behind the scenes. If you're interested in booking a personalized commission or are an artist searching for helpful articles, mini-tutorials, and a chance to attend a 1-day art workshop with me, click on the links below to visit my website.
Here's hoping 2018 is a wonderful year for you!
This year has been an extremely busy Christmas for Commissions and I suspect I ended up biting off more than I could chew, finally finishing the last commission of the year today and feeling emotionally shattered after early mornings and late nights creating some beautiful doggies and very special portraits for some lovely people. This is one of the Christmas commissions that I can show as it was given to the recipient early so Kita's Mum could choose the frame of the memorial portrait of her precious boy. Having created so many Pet portraits over the years I was able to work far more into the painting than was seen in the photograph as Kita's owners sadly had few photos of him and as Acrylic portraits offer extremely fine detail, every single hair had to be applied individually using a very thin brush to give the fine detail.
Upon completion of the portrait I then applied 2 layers of satin varnish which was then framed in the 'Brockwell' moulding, packaged up and sent to his new home. Upon receipt Kita's mum sent me the following text:
"I just wanted you to know that I absolutely love my painting of Kita. You have done the most amazing portrait of him, he was my best friend and my little boy. I love him so much and the painting of him has been put up in the living room so we can all admire him everyday!!!
It is always special recieving such feedback and I am looking forward to hearing how my other portraits have gone down this Christmas, hoping I am able to bring a smile to the recipient's face and knowing I did a good job for them all. I will share each portrait on my blog once I've had a decent break and would like to offer this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!!
Murphie - Large Traditional Heart Memorial portrait
Murphie sadly passed away in December 2015 at the age of 20! Her owner was looking for something special as a memorial to Murphie and came across my acrylic portraits known as Traditional Hearts. There were only a few photos of Murphie, so choosing the best one was tricky. Black & white animals can be difficult, as getting the right balance of dark and light in a photo, is a challenge.
I was able to recreate her portrait by providing an equal balance of colour and detail, whilst ensuring perspectives were kept in check.
Bailey - 10" x 12" Coloured pencil pet portrait
Bailey is the second portrait completed in Coloured pencils for his Mum after heartbreakingly losing both Bailey and Casey (the first portrait) in close succession of each other and was gifted both portraits by a good friend. Bailey was originally sat on a green stripey rug but I thought it would suit the portraits if they were both sat on the same wooden
" Bailey just arrived! Well, about 15 minutes of tape removal ago. We are so chuffed! Bailey was loved by all of us, but loves my husband best, he was over the moon! We are blessed by your talent!
Obe - 11" x 14" Boxer Dog Acrylic painting
I was asked to create an acrylic painting of a Boxer dog called Obie, as a surprise gift from friends online to a lady in the USA. The reference photo was a beautiful pose and of great quality, so I was able to gather lots of detail to be able to create this special memorial painting of him.
My acrylic paintings are created using a mixture of vibrant colour and sometimes I will include a medium or two, which provides texture. The background texture was created with moulding paste and applied with a palette knife. Nearly 40 Facebook friends clubbed together to book this surprise portrait, and it was lovely to hear how happy the recipient was upon receiving such a thoughtful gift from great friends!
Thinking of booking your own commission?
You can take a look at my COLOURED PENCIL ART GALLERY to see more pet portraits created in coloured pencils and if you wish to find out more about booking your own commission with me, you can find out more HERE. You can also fill in the BOOKING form to request a no-obligation quote or place your booking. Should you need help at any time, feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on: 07854 677416
I have begun a couple of new Acrylic paintings to join my ever growing collection. After painting our Springer Spaniel swimming, having 2 Labradors also I wanted to create a trio of paintings of them and after thoroughly enjoying painting the water in Casper's painting, I decided that this would be the theme of the trio and so went off to Woodhorn's QEII park here in Northumberland to get some photographs of him. Haze is rather excitable and went off jumping in to the water on numerous occasions, which caused him to sprain his tail! poor boy! Luckily, it was ok after a few days and it did not bother him much, so I got a lovely, natural photograph of him enjoying his swim on a sunny Sunday! Here is progress so far of the rough base layers, this is also a 11" x 14" on Gessobord.
This is the initial stages, where I apply the contrasts and loosely mark out the detail around the face and in the fur.
If you wish to follow progress of this painting, click the link below to visit the dedicated page.
It has been quiet on both my social media & news blog, with progress posts somewhat lacking. However, I have been quietly busy with drawings and paintings recently and wanted to share some updates.
I am working on a double portrait of my friend and her daughter for their upcoming birthdays in May and June. I have been layering the skin tones to create a realistic effect, and I still have some work to do. I used Burnt Umber as a base for the hair and added lighter strands. The stripey top is still in progress, but I plan to finish the painting by the weekend. I also have paintings of a Springer Spaniel and a Boxer dog near completion, but these are not commissions, so I will leave them untouched for a few weeks while I focus on paid work.
Coloured pencil portraits
Currently, I am working on two commissions using coloured pencils. One is a crossbreed of Airedale and Paterdale, while the other is Jack Russell and Pug. The Jack Russell, named Bailey, is in the early stages, adding the final details once all layers are complete. Meanwhile, I am adding final touches to Dave's Airedale portrait's background and fine details.
If you wish to view more of my pencil drawings, you can find more at the COLOURED PENCIL GALLERY
Here is one of the new style Acrylic paintings that I have been working on the last few days. An Acrylic painting can look rather untidy during the creation process as Acrylics can dry so quickly. Once the Canvas is fully covered I then move on to defining the detail which softens the looser application of the underlayers.
My new style Acrylic paintings use a selection of mediums mixed with colour to create a very Individual painting and for this portrait I have mixed the Acrylic paints with a Heavy Gel to create a texture to the Artwork. The next stage is to refine the painting, working with an ultra thin brush and applying the paint using a 'wet in wet' technique to ensure the edges are smoothed out more and the final look offers vibrancy, strong colour and realism.
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Thanks for stopping by!
For the last few weeks, I have been working on a few acrylic paintings and thought I would share with you progress so far on them. An acrylic painting begins with a tonal base layer, which primes the canvas, ready for the addition of detail. Every painting is individual, as I sometimes include mediums, providing additional texture and colour. Here are some of the subjects I am currently working on.
There are more portraits planned for 2016 and I will add more to this news page as regularly as possible. If you would like to book your own acrylic portrait, you can find out more on my ACRYLICS ART GALLERY page. I have also recently introduced a FRAMING service alongside my paintings, to provide customers with the full package. You can be sure that your painting has been created, using the best quality, lightfast products and the frame is safely & securely applied, allowing you to enjoy your portrait for many years to come.
If you wish to ask for a no-obligation quote or book your portrait, a form can be found at the bottom of the acrylics page. Simply fill in the form and get a reply within hours.
Any questions, please get in touch!
2016 sees the introduction of a range of frames that can be booked with all my 3mm acrylic paintings. Every frame has been hand picked by myself, to offer a wide range of colours & styles, which will suit any painting. There are also a few FSC/PEFC frames to choose from, which are mouldings made with wood taken from sustainable sources. Click on either image below to go to my FRAMING page.
Having recently returned from a long break in my old hometown of Chesterfield, Derbyshire (note all the frame names!), I took a visit to my framers to pick out the frame for my current painting and thought I would share a few images. This is a painting of our Springer Spaniel called Casper, (who simply loves swimming) - as I now live on the coast of Northumberland, I wanted a 'washed' effect frame and so went for the 'Highfield' option. The cream frame does not overpower the tones in the painting, whilst the pewter coloured edge frames the subject perfectly.
As an old news post, some mouldings may have been discontinued.
Karen M Berisford