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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!"

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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.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

An update on the large torso in Oil

This is where I was at before. I'd underpainted the torso in blue acrylic.
Much as I liked it the specifications for the commission are for a colourful contemporary painting so the next stages were to add Oil colour over the top.

Below - I've covered a fair bit of the painting. I really like the face so I've decided to keep it blue. This also opens it up to a more contemporary look as it obviously won't be realistic! I'm thinking it's a bit boring at the moment too much orange.I want a variety of colours.It's challenging as it's a large painting and I only have a small studio.When I stand back in the studio to access colour impact it looks great but when I get further back it loses impact as your eyes blend the colours more. I suppose I have to decide on a probable viewing distance and plan for best impact from that distance.

Below -  A bit further along - I've put thick spirals of yellow / cream Oil on the right chest so it is featured at the moment.I'll even things out more as I go along but I don't want to reduce the impact. I want this painting to have zap!
 It has been commissioned by a chiropractor and will be in her office for a while so I want it to be believable but really exciting. As it is a big painting it will have impact.

Above - I actually quite like it here but have decided to add more greens and blues to the LHS which will give a bit more 3D and bring out the RHS more.

Above - mmm in a photo it looks like I've gone backwards with this idea but I think in the flesh it hangs together better. 
 I've redone the LHS with greens and blues and been a bit more careful to fix the anatomy. I've also reduced the thickness of the right arm ( held up) as it was too wide.

It's a tricky business painting a colourful portrait. If you get the tones( light, mid and dark) correct theoretically you can use any colour and get a convincing result. Colours also recede or come forward depending on whether they are warm or cool so that has to be taken into account too to get convincing form. It's a bit of a juggling act. If I didn't want the figure to be 3Dish I could use colours with more abandon.There's a lot of thought and experimentation required to do a portrait like this- much harder than just using pinks and creams.

I'm going to let it dry a little and then come back and put more reds and yellows on the greeny side. The hard part is going to be bringing it all together as a whole while having impact + having a bit of  3D. I think it needs some more of the light blues etc from the face through the LHS too.
I'll sit on it for a while until I know what it needs.It's a on a wall in the hall where I can see it everyday and evaluate things.

Cass- Here's a horse memorial portrait with reference photo so you can see how much more alive the portrait is than the original photo

I have never met your pet or loved one so your photos are the only way I have of getting to know them and creating your memories. The better the photos the better the portrait!
 I can accentuate any character in a photo but I can’t make a sad photo happy .
When you or your pet ‘smiles’ their whole face change shape – the face becomes shorter and wider , their eyes change shape and close up and their mouth obviously changes shape. If I just make a smile with the mouth without changing everything else it will look unnatural and creepy..lol’s.
 Without a photo to show me how their face changes shape I am only guessing and I won’t be able to make it look like your pet. So a happy flattering photo is best.
Ideally your photos will be sharp , nicely lit and exposed and with your pet happy and showing  some of it’s pet’s character.
Generally though that’s not the case and I do the best I can with the photos I receive.
I always tell people ‘ Take heaps of closeup sharp photos of your pets when they are alive! even if you never get a portrait created at least you will have some nice photos of them. Often people only realise they don’t have any sharp or flattering photos of their pet after it has passed away and they need a memorial portrait created. I can create portraits using less than perfect photos especially if we  have other sharper ones from a similar angle – they don’t need to be as flattering as your favourite – I can use them to help me with face structure and nose and eye details.
 Although I don’t include every detail in your portrait I need to be able to see the structure of your pets face and if we have the eyes and nose sharp I can use the photo to let me give the little accents that really bring your pet to life! Whereas a photo shows everything in equal detail I choose to only accent the important things in your portrait to bring your subject to life and bring back the connection.
 ‘ A photo freezes a moment while a painting melts hearts!

Cass’s head is distorted in this photo. His nose is too large. When taking photos of horses don’t get too close or you will get the big head effect. You also need to stand in the centre of their body with them parallel to you if you are taking a full body pose. If you stand with them crooked with one end closer to the camera it will come out too big for the rest of the body. Sometimes it’s not easy to tell that a pets face isn’t normal. Luckily I had taken some other photos of Cass so realised this wasn’t normal. I reduced the size of his nose in the portrait and created a neck that was hidden under the rug. Ideally he would have had his neck showing in the photo.
 Don’t worry about background distractions I can remove those.

30 x 40cms 
 Oil on gallery wrap canvas 

Cass’s portrait minus big nose and rug!

‘Hi Sue,
I just wanted to let you know I received Cass yesterday. I am very pleased, it is so lifelike and like him.
You certainly are gifted.
 Mum loves the portrait. There were lots of tears, but we all agree it’s a great likeness. ‘


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why my portraits capture your pet better than any photo.

I'm painting the 4 dog portrait.
It's going to be a stunner when it's finished. Each face is 35cms high and almost the same wide .I have some great photos to improve on - they are sharp, nicely lit ,and show a bit of each dogs personality. I can always enhance a photo but photos like this really help!
Although I can create portraits from a wide range of photos I can still improve on professional photographers photos and you'll get the best portrait from something like that.I will enhance only the areas that are important .
A photo, even with a blurred background, just shows everything with similar importance.
Your eye doesn't see like that- it dwells on the things that are important to you and the rest is peripheral.That's why you often get excited , take a photo, and then when you view the photo it just hasn't captured your pet!
In your portrait I enhance the important things - expression , eyes colour etc . Once again they are what you notice- the excitement is back!

 The original reference photo


The completed portrait. 
See how much more feeling there is now.
A photo freezes a moment while a painting melts hearts!
I'm about to start painting Daisy the RH dog in the portrait.This is going to be a challenge as the canvas is really wide and she is over the top of my bench where I have my brushes etc so she will be hard to get at.Usually I can move the canvas across to help but I can't here.Oh well time to start!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The coldest morning of the year so far

Minus 4 the morning these were taken. Frost all the way up the hill.