Whilst in confinement, I plan to complete a 'few' pieces of art that have been hanging around the studio for a while. Over the weekend, I worked on a painting of myself with our old Labrador/Collie cross called Cindy. I am using the Ampersand Pastelbord which allows me to create smooth layers due to its texture.
Red Squirrel Traditional Heart painting
Last night, I worked on a painting depicting a Red Squirrel called Tintin. The subject lives in Denmark with his 'Paps' (you can read his remarkable story HERE). Paps, (aka Decan), has a special permit to keep Tintin. He also rehabilitates injured Red squirrels until it is safe to re-release them.
Click this button to view the progress page of this acrylic Traditional Heart of Tintin the Red squirrel
The colouration on Tintin has been darkened which aids definition, ensuring perspectives are kept in check whilst I work up the layers and finish by evenly applying the highlights. The detail already added is quite heavy at this stage, this will be softened down as I continue so the fur looks more realistic. Sections of the bark on the tree has been built up using moulding paste to create additional effect and this will be worked on a little more as I go along.
You can find more of my Acrylic paintings in my online art gallery
or see more of my Traditional Heart portraits too.
Bespoke commissions are available to book.
Last year I had 4 portraits that were booked as Christmas Commissions as well as 3 that weren't but that needed to be delivered before Christmas to avoid the postal build up and last year was pretty hectic. All bar one (the Chow Chow dog) were small portraits but this year however I had 3 larger portraits booked in which allowed a much steadier pace. One was not booked as a Christmas Commission and so delayed until the New Year to avoid getting damaged in the overseas post to the USA, and so here are the 2 completed Commissions that I hope were received well by their recipients this Christmas day.
Click on either image to see the progress page.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas day and received some thoughtful gifts too.
Wishing you the very best for the New Year 2019!
Christmas orders began coming in by September last year (2017) and I had little time to spend on anything else. I worked around 10 - 12 hours a day from mid October onwards and had to create a finely tuned schedule list for each day to ensure every portrait was completed for a specific date because there were a few overseas orders, some framed too and I had to ensure frames were received in plenty of time knowing framers tend to be extremely busy in the run up to Christmas too. I was hoping to have finished all my orders a week before I was due to travel to my old home town of Chesterfield so I could relax a bit but I was literally working late into the night before my journey the next morning!
Luckily everything worked out well in the end and my final portrait Star the Chow Chow, was literally collected by the Commissionee at the train station when I arrived in Chesterfield, he had travelled the 6 hours with me on bus, coach and then train in my suitcase! I received a lovely bunch of flowers from the lady for his painting and was pleased to see some lovely comments from recipients throughout Christmas day upon seeing the portrait of their much loved Pets. Click on any of the images to visit the progress pages.
Now all the Christmas Commissions are all complete and I've had a couple of weeks off to recharge, I am back in the studio working on new articles and 2018 Art Workshops for my Step by Step Art website, there's always so much to do behind the scenes. If you are looking to book your own bespoke Commission with me or are an Artist interested in articles, mini tutorials and possibly taking in a 1 Day Art Workshop with me, click on either of the links below to visit the page/website.
Here's hoping 2018 is a wonderful year for you!
This year I was extremely busy with Christmas Commissions - I had 5 to complete in the space of 6 weeks, normally a portrait can take 3 - 5 weeks each so it was a very busy time. All were completed and delivered out to the Commissionees and here are the portraits alongside information on each and the customer testimonials.
"I'm sitting looking at Buddy in pride of place on the wall, photo attached! It is absolutely lovely and it had the desired effect on Steve when he unwrapped - there were tears!! Everyone that has seen it has said how amazing it is with the amount of fine detail and so Buddy. If I manage to get a decent photo of Buddy next to it I will send it on! Thank you once again, it is lovely to have a painting of Buddy forever."
"Just wanted to let you know that mum loves her portrait and we all cried our eyes out when we first saw it. What you've done is so special and we couldn't have asked for a better painting to remember him by. It captures his brilliant personality so well. I'll definitely be recommending you to my spaniel loving friends!
"Hi Karen, I just wanted you to know that I absolutely love my painting of Kita. Thank you so much, you have done the most amazing portrait of him. He was my best friend and my little boy and the painting has been hung in the living room so we can all admire him everyday! Thank you again xx"
"Hi Karen , Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Wanted to drop you a note to say that Max absolutely loved the portrait! She couldn't believe how well you'd captured the detail from the photo and was thrilled to pieces! We've already recommended you to friends and family and am sure we'll use your amazing skills again in the the future. Have a great New Year!! Diarmid"
"Thank you so much for my beautiful portrait, you've really excelled yourself this time, its amazing!"
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!!
I recently completed this stunning portrait of Willow the Springer Spaniel and her ball as a surprise Commission from a husband to his wife for their special 1 year wedding anniversary. The reference photograph was a brilliant composition to begin with and so I knew the painting would be great fun to do.
My Acrylic paintings are created to offer vibrancy and wherever possible, texture and as the ball was at the forefront of the painting I mixed a moulding paste in with the paints to give the fluffy texture of a tennis ball. I also added texture into Willow's fur using the moulding paste too to add interest when viewing the painting at different angles.
This portrait was created on a 22mm Gessobord so that it could be hung without a frame and the edges were also painted too. The painting was sealed with a few layers of Satin Varnish and 2 wall protector feet were added to the bottom corners on the back of the painting for added protection. The great thing about these 22mm board portraits are that you can choose at a later date to have a frame added if you prefer or keep them unframed for that contemporary feel. I really enjoyed creating this portrait and was pleased to hear Willow's Mum was pretty happy with her surprise when she received it too!
Karen, I was the lucky one to receive this beautiful painting. I can't tell you what a lovely gift it is, thank you so much for capturing Willow's character so well. I absolutely love it, it's beautiful and one to be treasured for many years to come.
Karen M Berisford