Welcome to my Blog

I'm a professional award winning Portrait artist from NSW Australia.

Not just a likeness- portraits with Life!
I bring your photos to life in paintings that will touch your heart!

A photo freezes a moment while a painting melts hearts.

Capture a moment in their life and
keep it alive in an Heirloom Portrait !

"Your portraits capture more life than a photo ever could!"

Satisfaction Guarantee .

Have me create a special portrait just for you!.
Supply the photos and then plan the great unveiling!

I have original animal and landscape artworks available for sale on my website.

Learn more at my website-


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The creation of Muffy , Tuffy & Scruffy

Chris contacted me wanting a portrait of her 3 terriers Muffy , Scruffy and Tuffy. She had been thinking about it for a while but the catalyst was when her favourite Muffy died. Chris missed her terribly and hoped the portrait would help her feel Muffy was still with her.

Muffy was 14 years of age when she passed away, Scruffy is 9 years old and Tuffy is 4 and half. They got on so well together Muffy & Scruffy really loved each other.  

 We had to make do with the photos we had of Muffy. We had a favourite one for the pose and others to help with details and colour, The favourite photo was lovely but had been taken outside and wasn't really sharp - I couldn't see the details in her eyes or nose.I ended up working form about 4 different photos. This is difficult as you can't compare the portrait to any one photo to check if things are correct- it does give the best result though!
 I went and took photos of Scruffy and Tuffy. We chose a typical pose of Scruffy who always looks sad and ............Scruffy ( lol's) and one of Tuffy looking cute.."I'm so cute..."

From top RHS clockwise- Muffy , Tuffy & Scruffy
Here I've done a rough tonal underpainting in acrylic to get position and shapes.

 Below- I've started on Muffy in Oil paint over the acrylic. I wanted to paint her first as I knew she would be the hardest because her photo wasn't clear and I had to use extra photos to get her colour eye details etc.

 Muffy is roughly done. It's a large painting so I decided to get each dog to a similar amount of finish so I could assess the overall impression. Now to move onto the others. I'll come back later and finish off Muffy.

 Below - Scruffy has been painted to a similar level of finish. I know she is too blue but that doesn't worry me as I will wait for her to dry a  bit and come back over her and tone the blue down. I don't want to use blacks and greys as the portrait would be lifeless and boring. I want to use as much colour as I can but still have them look like the dogs.

 Below- Now I've done Tuffy.I'm really enjoying painting them and laying the brushstrokes down. I am really happy with Tuffy as he looks cute and the colours are interesting and believable.I will finish him of more at the end but he'll do for now .I don't want to lose the freshness and life the portrait has by killing it with detail!
I still feel Scruffy is too blue although I have added other colours. She is a dark silvery blue grey and a bit lighter out in the sun. I will subdue the blue  a bit more. I'm happy with their expressions. The background colour looks great with the frame I have chosen but I feel I need to change it to make the portrait more cohesive.

 Below- I still haven't changed the background colour but each dog is pretty finished.

Below - The finished portrait
I changed the background colour and Chris had me make a few adjustments to Muffy's colour. The photo for the pose was taken out in the sun but I used another photo taken inside with a flash for the colour and it had her nose a lighter inaccurate colour- flash photos can do that! A few more little adjustments and Chris decided it would be better to come and see the portrait in the flesh for the final approval.

Muffy , Scruffy and Tuffy
71 x 76cm framed size
'I just love it! It's SO them. It's like she's here..'
  Muffy passed away recently and Chris really misses her.
She really wanted the portrait to help her feel that Muffy is still with her . She wasn't sure if I'd captured her when she viewed the photo I emailed through so decided  it would be better to see the actual portrait to make a decision.
She loved the portrait!
Portraits certainly look better in the flesh. I can fiddle around for a couple of hours changing things and I can see the difference in the original painting but you can hardly tell looking at a photo of it on the internet- especially if the portrait is a larger one like this one of Muffy , Scruffy and Tuffy.

The portrait will have a lovely white distressed wood frame and should make a great impression in the hall where Chris has a skylight and special light especially for Oil painting viewing.
The more light you have on my portraits the more subtle colours you will see so good lighting is very important to show your portrait to best advantage.

No comments:

Post a Comment