Rex the Border Collie - Size: 16" x 20"
In June I completed this beautiful young Border Collie as a special gift from a bride to her father on her special day. Black & White animals are very difficult to photograph correctly due such tonal opposites and this normally results in either over exposure of the white fur or under exposure of the black fur when trying to balance the 2 colours.
This Pastel portrait was commissioned unframed as it would be travelling overseas to Spain where the wedding was being held and the final portrait was wrapped up extremely well to ensure a safe and secure plane journey. Here is Rex's completed portrait alongside his Certificate of Authenticity as well as myself next to the portrait to offer an idea of sizing.
Bertie the Springer Spaniel - Size: 13" x 15"
I was recently contacted by a lady who wanted to surprise her boyfriend with a portrait of his recently passed Springer Spaniel Bertie. The reference photo chosen was a great pose albeit slightly dark and lacking some fine detail but I will adapt and improve such issues before taking on the Commission - owning a Springer too, I knew I could use Cas as example should I need to, he'd be happy to help for a doggy biscuit or two!
A light brown/beige tonal background was added to the portrait so as not to detract from Bertie and the strong contrasting colours of his fur. The customer requested the 'Rustic' frame coupled with a gold name plaque too which really set the final portrait off well. The recipient of the portrait was extremely pleased with Bertie's memorial portrait and I do hope it brings him much comfort for many years.
It has been a little quiet on my Art blog for a few weeks as I have been working on a portrait which was commissioned as a special birthday surprise. A password protected page was set up for the Commissionee to allow her to see the portrait come together without the worry of it being accidently discovered and spoiling the surprise. The portrait was collected this morning by the couple, and received great praise from the recipient who had no idea about the surprise and initially wondered why he had been brought to a strange house! :D I am so pleased they were both extremely happy with the final portrait and I am looking forward to seeing a photo of the portrait once framed.
Here are a few photographs of Chester during the photoshoot and of his portrait in progress.
command from total strangers and holding his pose whilst I took photographs and Karen encouraged him with treats and lots of praise. The portrait was created on archival quality Pastelmat using lightfast pastels & pastel pencils and created over the space of around 3 weeks and guessing around 50 hours to complete. A few photographs of Chester was uploaded to the private page so the Commissionee could decide which one she liked for use as reference and once chosen, I began the portrait. Here are a few progress posts alongside the final image and myself together simply for scale.
Chester's portrait received the 'unveiling' treatment as was requested and then safely and securely packaged alongside official paperwork including the Certificate of Authentication and After Care sheet in preparation for his next stop, the Framers. Here is the customers feedback on the special portrait:
"I was taken by my wife to a house in Newbiggin -by-the-Sea following my 60th birthday. I was told it was a surprise and what a surprise I got. My 60th birthday present was a magnificent pastel portrait of our wonderful young dog, Chester. When the picture was unveiled I could hardly hold back the tears. I think my first words on seeing the picture were “I am stunned!” The picture is so lifelike and catches his character absolutely perfectly. John has caught the inquisitive way that Chester looks at you when you talk to him and has caught that wonderful glint in his eyes. Absolutely fabulous!. A picture I shall love and cherish for the rest of my days. I cannot recommend John enough for his incredible work. Thank you"
If you wish to view the progress page, you can view by clicking the link button below:
If you wish to find out more about booking your own Commission, you can find more on my COMMISSIONS page or simply drop me a line or give me a call.
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With Thanks, John :)
The choice of reference photo plays a very important part in the process of a pet portrait not just for the detail that can be seen up close but for the whole composition too, especially if someone is looking for a full portrait within a detailed background - knowing that this will be hung on someone's wall for many years to come, admired everyday and remembering all those happy memories shared together, makes a portrait worth it's weight in gold.
As the owner of 3 dogs and having lost the eldest last year at the grand age of 15, I can understand why many people choose to have their pets immortalised and it is so important to choose the right image for the portrait. It is also important to be able to get an idea of how the final painting will look once completed and so have provided some of my latest pet portraits next to their photos simply to show how my paintings look once completed.
The most important thing to me is that I am always able to offer a good balance of colour and tone whilst capturing all those individual markings that makes the animal unique and special, if I get the chance to meet the subject beforehand and capture my own reference photos, this is an added bonus as it's always great to see their character too.
With Thanks for reading!
If you are thinking of Commissioning your own portrait with me, here are some links to pages that may be of help but remember you can always drop me an E-mail or give me a call if you have any questions too!
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Last week with the weather being warm and sunny, myself and my partner Karen, decided to take a few jaunts out with our Nikon Cameras - here are a few images I captured using a 500mm lens.
The Snoozing Tawny Owl
wooded area and noticed a keyhole shaped nook in a tree with a sleeping Tawny Owl. Keeping our movements as low key as possible to avoid disturbing the bird, the Tawny Owl opened its eyes to peer at us which allowed us both a few minutes to capture some great photos of it. We very quickly went on our way so as not to disturb it for long and although we have been back to the same spot a few times since then, there has been no further sightings. A real bonus for us both.
Great Grey Shrike
The Great Grey Shrike has been showing at Harwood Forest for a while and was invited to take a trip over with a friend to see if he could spot it. Harwood Forest is owned by the Forestry Commission and is a working forest so there are open clearings with recently felled trees which is where we saw the Shrike. It was rather a distance away hence the low quality image but well worth a trip!
Latest Pet portrait Completed - Radley
I was glad to hear the recipient of the gift was very happy with the portrait, with a few tears shed too apparently! It is always good to know a portrait has been well received being such a personal gift.
Feel free to like, share or leave me a comment below with your thoughts on the portrait should you wish.
It has been a very busy time in the studio for me the last 3 months - this is the time Commissions start coming in for Christmas gifts and so apologise that there has been no new posts recently on my News page. I was very lucky to receive many queries regarding Pet portraits as Xmas gifts and it was sad that I was not able to take on every one, however for those I was able to undertake, I hope the recipient's loved their portraits. Above are the final pastel paintings as well as showing them all framed up.
Portraits are offered with or without detailed backgrounds and can be framed with or without mounts - as you can see here, different options give different results but each worked perfectly. Smaller sized portraits can also be framed and posted directly out to you with P & P prices starting from around £25 extra.
Commission bookings are now available for 2016 - if you wish to find out more, take a look at my COMMISSIONS page.
Wishing you all the very best for 2016!
I have now started taking Commission bookings for Christmas Gifts if you are looking for something special and unique for a loved one, please get in touch or visit my COMMISSIONS page for more details.
Feel free to like/share using the social icon buttons below or leave me a comment if you wish, Best Wishes, John
Recently I was contacted by a lady who was looking to Commission a Pet portrait for a surprise birthday Gift. Although many of my portraits are purchased for special events such as Birthdays and Christmas, the Birthday was the following week and she asked if it was possible to complete in such a short space of time. A portrait normally takes 3 - 4 weeks for completion (including framing) but I promised to do what I could and spent a few full days at the Easel which are normally broken up with other business related work in between to ensure the portrait is viewed regularly with 'fresh' eyes.
I am always willing to help wherever I can but know that you can always purchase a Gift Voucher for the special day instead, this way the receiver can choose their favourite photograph for the portrait and see it come together via this 'News' page which can be very enjoyable for them.
If you wish to interact with this post, you can click the Facebook 'Like' button below or 'share' on your Twitter page by clicking the Twitter icon below - you can also leave me a message if you wish!
I always appreciate your visit and support! Best Wishes, John
A small image of the final painting will be E-mailed to the Commissionee for clarification and if they require any small changes or tweaks, this can easily be done before the frame is added.
If anyone is looking to book a Pet portrait with me, please feel free to get in touch or if you wish to find out more beforehand, you can view my Commission process page. Ordering a bespoke Commission from me is very easy, regardless of where you live, and you can watch your own portrait come together via this News page too!
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Best wishes, John
Feel free to leave a comment below if you wish or you can also click the Facebook/Twitter icons below to like/share too!
See the latest progress images on John's Pet portrait Commissions and other Artworks created. View the latest information on work for sale, Representing Galleries or Exhibitions as well as posts sharing John's photography images of Birds, Wildlife and trips out and about.