Monday, 29 December 2014

Inca, Beanie and Lily

 Inca Beanie & Lily, Watercolour on paper 23"x 33"

The above portrait was commissioned as a surprise christmas present.  A secret photo session was arranged, and then the fun began.  It can be challenging photographing one pet at times, to photograph three dogs required a lot of help (thank you John and James) and a lot of patience, for them and for me.  

Inca, on the left of the painting is Mum to Beanie, the pup in the middle, and Lily on the end.  Below are photos of them individually.



"Bramble" 16"x11" watercolour on paper

Bramble was also a surprise Christmas present. Unusually  I didn't photograph Bramble myself, but was sent some wonderful photos, very clear and detailed from which I was able to paint the above portrait.

I particularly enjoy painting eyes and Bramble's were so expressive, I felt as though we had actually met.


Now that Christmas is over, I can show you some of the portraits I have been busy painting for the last few weeks.

Alfie - 16"x12" Watercolour on paper

The first portrait is of Alfie, a rescue English Springer. This commission was one of many fantastic lots at a charity auction to raise funds for The Brentwood Foyer, a local charity giving incredible support to disadvantaged youngsters. Fortunately it proved very popular, an incredibly generous bid was matched with two further bids, raising a total of £4,300 for the charity.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

"Daisy" - the finished portrait

Sorry I haven't posted for a little while, it has just been so busy in the run up to Christmas, that I have let the admin side slip.  There are a couple of portraits that are surprise Christmas present's, so I won't be showing you them until after Christmas. Here is the finished photo of Daisy's portrait which was finished at the end of October.

" Hello Marion,
      I just wanted to express my thanks for doing such a wonderful portrait of Daisy.  I showed it to my family today and they were astonished by the likeness.  They said it really captured her personalityIt's a wonderful tribute to Daisy's memory and it will take pride of place in our home.
    Thank you very much."

Monday, 6 October 2014

Daisy - the house rabbit

Here are some "work in progress" photos of Daisy, a very beautiful house rabbit who is sadly, no longer with us. The quality is a little poor in some of the photos, (taken with the Ipad). Beginning to take shape now, but a lot of detail still to go!

Charcoal & pencil sketch

First layer of watercolour  

Poppy - watercolour

Poppy is now finished and currently with the printer. I'm sorry to mention the 'c' word before we have even had halloween, but Poppy is going to be a Christmas present, and her owner has ordered two giclee prints in addition to the painting. Then all three will be off to the framer, in plenty of time for Christmas!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Painting in progress and charcoal & chalk study

This is the second of the "painting in progress" photos which I took with my Ipad, so I apologize if the quality is poor. I made a tonal charcoal sketch first, which I find really helps me with the painting, as the shadow patterns in the face have all been worked out beforehand. t was drawn on sugar paper, the kind they have in school, fine for rough sketches, but not ideal as it is quite unforgiving and doesn't like too many adjustments.
Note to self - next time, make life easier and use the proper paper!

Charcoal & chalk study for main painting

Drawing completed and first washes laid in


I have two "painting in progress" photos to show you. This first one is a commission of Poppy, a lovely elderly golden lab, enjoying the sun in her garden. As the client wanted the painting to show Poppy, as she often is, relaxing at home, I have unusually for me, included a background, fading it out slightly at the edges. Don't want to take the limelight away from Poppy!
I will be posting another picture of this painting soon.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Finished Thorndon Park trompe l'oeil

I have finally got around to posting photos of the finished Thorndon Park trompe l'oeil mural (earlier photos posted in April) - seemed a little too serious - so added a cheeky squirrel above the door. Hope you like him!

Squirrel sneaked in through the open window

trompe l'oeil dado rail

trompe l'oeil window with classical columns and dado rail

Faux painted marble ledges

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bonnie & Bridie - watercolour pet portrait

It was challenging taking the photo's for this portrait, as Bonnie & Bridie were incredibly energetic and lively, and even with help, it was difficult to capture the exact pose.  It was a beautiful bright sunny day.   Usually, I prefer not to take photographs in bright sunlight, as the dogs  have a tendency to squint, but fortunately that didn't happen, and I was lucky to get a great photo.

Charlie & Milo - finished painting.

Charlie & Milo - Watercolour on paper

work in progress "Charlie & Milo"
work in progress "Charlie & Milo"
work in progress "Charlie & Milo"
Work in progress - "Charlie & Milo"

Completed portrait

Alfie & Lily - watercolour pet portrait

I seem to be having a run of double portraits at the moment.  This portrait is of two cute little Lhaso Apso's named Alfie & Lily.  They were commissioned as a very special Anniversary present.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Rocky & Butch, Watercolour

 "Rocky & Butch" were commissioned commissioned as a special 70th birthday present.
Normally, when I photograph pets for a commission, I take lots and lots of photos, zooming in on the details, so I have plenty of images to refer to once the painting is underway.
Rocky & Butch were alive in the 1970's, and subsequently the photo's I had to work with were quite challenging, some being 3" square.
Fortunately, with helpful input from my client regarding colouring and characteristics I was able to create these portraits.
I hope you like them.


Monday, 14 July 2014

Butch & Rocky

I'm afraid I am a little behind in updating my blog lately, but shall be posting all my latest paintings shortly, (I have posted on facebook if you want to have a look on there first).  In the meantime, these are the first "painting in progress" photos of two labradors, Butch & Rocky. 



Pencil drawing

Shading in watercolour

First glazes added

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Work in progress photos of Milo & Charlie

It has been very busy in the studio, consequently I have not posted recently.  The surprise commission is now finished and being mounted as I type.  Meanwhile, I have been making the most of this glorious weather, and moved my studio outside! This painting will be of Milo and Charlie, two beautiful labradors.  These are the first "work in progress photos" minus the greenfly!

First layer of watercolour to establish light and shade

First glaze on the eyes

Adding shaping to their noses

Gradually strengthening Milo's colouring