I recently completed this commission of Dougal. Pet portraits are my most requested subject, and Dougal's portrait was ordered from a returning customer as a birthday gift to a family member.
The reference image used for this drawing was a great composition, but the detail and colour, was unfortunately lacking. Extra photos of Dougal were provided, which allowed me to gather additional detail. The leash was removed from the drawing, as this added nothing to his portrait.
Living in Northumberland, the Labrador is a very popular dog breed here and having two Labradors myself, we often encounter Red fox Labradors and their owners, which allowed me to study their natural colour as we passed. I always try to balance out the values in each portrait, which means I will correct the colour tones, especially so when the colours in the photograph are washed out or under-exposed. I also spend time researching online, collecting photos of other Red Fox Labradors which act as a guide too.
If you are thinking about booking a commission of your own pet, get in touch. If you want to find out more about my commissions first, you can click one of the tabs below and read about the process or view my art gallery. I work in coloured pencils and acrylic paints, both offer very different outcomes, but are highly detailed.
Last year I had four portraits that were booked for Christmas, as well as three that weren't, but that needed to be delivered before Christmas to avoid the postal build up, so last year was pretty hectic. All, bar one (the Chow Chow dog), were small portraits, but I also had three larger portraits booked too, which allowed a much steadier pace. One was delayed until the New Year to avoid any damage from the international post, going to the USA, and so here are the two commissions that I hope were received well by their recipients on christmas day.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas day and received some thoughtful gifts too.
Wishing you the very best for the New Year 2019!
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!
Most people visiting my website would understandably think that I only take on pet & portrait commissions, but I do undertake various subjects, if someone is looking for something specific. The three images below were created using an editing program, allowing me to cut and paste sections of digital images, to create one 'mock up', which will then become the reference photo used for the portrait. As a huge fan of photography, I have collected thousands of photographs of animals, birds & many other subject matter, that can be used for a bespoke portrait.
These Barn Owls were taken on two separate occasions at the Butterfly House in Sheffield, but the background was taken in Cresswell, Northumberland. The wall was taken on a different day, at Woodhorn church in Northumberland. They were all cropped and loosely fused together in an editing program, to create a single composition. The artwork, which is being created in coloured pencils for a returning customer from the USA, will be created by balancing out incorrect lighting and generally offering a more appealing and balanced background. When this article was first written, this drawing was currently in progress, but the finished drawing has been added here at a later date.
The final drawing was added in at a later date.
The Sumatran Tiger was also created in Coloured pencils for a returning customer who allowed me to create my own composition. The Tiger image was taken at a zoo, of which you can still see the bars. The water, rocks in the foreground, and the tree branches at the top left of the image, were all cut from individual images, to create the one composition.
The Green girl was created purely for a competition entry for the USA Colored pencil Magazine. You could pull any section from the image itself and create your own composition, for this I uploaded it into Picmonkey and literally played around with different tones, overlays and applications until I came up with the final reference image.
If you have your own idea for a piece of art that you would like to commission me to create in coloured pencils or acrylics, you can drop me an E-mail direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org, drop me a message via my CONTACT FORM or request a quote on the BOOKING/QUOTE FORM. Here is another bespoke commission that was requested for a Wedding Day, and laterly, a gift for a 1 year wedding anniversary gift.
Karen M Berisford