Commissioning a painting
There is nothing more special and unique than to have you or a loved one captured in a painting...
Although my style isn't one of extreme realism, I do my utmost to capture the essence, soul, heart and emotion of the person. I am becoming known for the unusual use of colour in some of my portrait work, this I believe helps me to capture that something extra, along with giving my work a uniqueness to others.
I never embark on a commissioned portrait without first working on numerous pencil sketches of the subject, including small studies of their features. This is one of the most important stages, getting closer to the person I am portraying in my work, helping to capture the likeness. I will explore colours through sketches before moving onto the final painting. All this enables me to capture so much more than just an image on paper, which for me is the whole purpose of a painting, rather than opting for a photograph.
Where needed, I will use artistic license to rearrange elements of the original photo, maybe the tilt of a head for a more pleasant painting with an individuality. We have to remember, what works on a photo doesn't always work in a painting and vice versa. All of This will be worked on with your approval. My ultimate goal is that you are happy with your painting.
You will need a good clear photograph of the subject. A few to choose from will give me a better understanding of the subject. And of course the larger and better quality the photo, the more accurately I can capture them in paint.
Always try to be on the same level as your subject when taking their photo, especially if they are young children or animals. The wonderful world of digital allows us the freedom of clicking away without worry about the cost and processing time, a great advantage.
When I'm photographing my grandchildren, you will often find me sitting on the floor, in the corner out of the way, giving them time to forget I have my camera in hand. Watching while they play, waiting for those moments of stillness when their minds are perhaps concentrating on what they are exploring, or that glance around the room when they look up. You will get more reaction if you have planned an activity. The more time you spend the more natural the photo will be, so be patient.
Try to focus as much as you can on the eyes. Zoom lenses are wonderful for catching that lovely close up without having to be so close with the camera. But be careful you will need a steady hand and good lighting if there is any movement.