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!
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!
and happiness to their owners and deserve their memorial portraits, reminding us every day of those happy times spent together and the special bond we have.
There were a few pieces I was unable to complete for the deadline (Springer Spaniel above) as I did not want to rush them being so detailed however, all these pieces will be added to my website with their dedicated page as to how they were completed and for those available for sale, a chance to purchase the original or buy a print or 2.
Details will be added on my News page once the Magazine is out (June Issue) with a link to the website where you can purchase a Print copy or a digital copy to download. This magazine is a must for any Coloured pencil lover or for anyone simply wishing to read 'my story' as it's the one and only time I'll share it publicly.
Costs are as follows:
Printed Copy $5.99 £3.87* €5.46* Delivery (1 - 2 weeks) USA $4.06 UK £2.96*
Digital Copy $2.99 £1.93* €2.72*
*Due to exchange rate, these prices may vary
It appears that my side of the art studio is full of Boxer dog artwork at the moment. I have been asked to produce quite a few boxer dog portraits over the years, although I do all other breeds and pets too.
I am currently completing three separate coloured pencil portraits for customers, which are as follows:
10" x 12" of Holly
8" x 10" of Lennox
12" x 16" trio of Boxers called ABBIE, DOLLY & ARTHUR
Holly (far right) is nearing completion now and I hope to finish it tonight dependant on my obsessive 'tweaking' necessity. The trio of Boxers (top) are still in the very early stages and the base tones are currently being applied, so the fine detail has yet to be added. This is the second portrait I am completing of Lennox (bottom left), the first portrait was completed last year and his Mum, who absolutely loves her boy, wanted another portrait and chose this lovely pose of him. You can view all the portraits together on this page HERE
If you are looking to commission your own pet portrait and wish to find out more, you can find some information on my COMMISSIONS page, just drop me a line if you have a bespoke portrait idea - I love a challenge!
Karen M Berisford