Lockdown Diary

How do you survive a lockdown? I must admit, I’ve found the whole situation very unsettling. I can’t get to my studio, or my boat. The government is even threatening to ban my morning walk, unless people start behaving!

So I’m stuck indoors, with some pencils and paper, and each morning I set aside a couple of hours to do some drawing. I must admit, I’m enjoying the challenge of drawing subjects I would normally never consider. The biggest problem is finding a subject for the next drawing.

Recent portrait paintings.

portrait of young woman wearing denim jacket
Detail from Woman in Denim Jacket

Here are detail photos of a couple of portraits that I’m just finishing up. The above “Denim Jacket” painting has been particularly fun to paint. The model was someone who responded to a callout for volunteers to model. I found the fabric and jewellery a nice challenge.

detail from a painting of a young internet model
Detail from Portrait of Beth

Commission a Nude Portrait

Me posing in front of two commissions and a self portrait. Leegate Open Studios 2018.

Following on from my recent post about commissioning a portrait, I thought I’d add a quick post about less conventional portraits. Over the years, I would say that the majority of enquiries I receive about commissioning a painting are for nude portraits. Mostly they don’t lead to anything, as people often don’t appreciate the investment of their own time that is needed, if they want a successful outcome.

The two nude paintings in the photo above make an interesting case study. Both clients already had a vague idea of how they wanted to be portrayed. Subject 1 (female sitter on left), was able to pose in their own home, and had few restrictions on their time. The first sitting was spent making sketches of various poses. In the second sitting I produced a more detailed pencil drawing, from which I was able to start the painting. There followed a few painting sessions, each lasting about three hours. In between I was able to work from a reference photo to bring the painting forward.

Subject 2 (male model in centre, behind me) chose to pose in the studio. We were able to compress the whole process into one sitting. We started with preliminary drawings, and then spent the rest of the sitting taking photos. I was then able to complete the paintings from those photos. Although I’m happy with the final painting, it would have made the process easier, and might have had a different outcome, if I had organised a few more sittings.

I hope that sheds some light onto the process involved in commissioning an artwork. Exactly the same applies to a conventional portrait painting. If you have any questions about a possible commission, please get in touch via the email on the Contact page.