Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Portrait of Max

Finally here is the portrait of Max.  He was commissioned as a surprise birthday present, I didn't post any photos earlier, just in case I gave the game away.

Watercolour on Arches paper with pencil remarques

Close up of Max

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Planning stage of next painting

Next painting is still in the planning stage, a beautiful black cat. The main portrait will be of his face with little pencil drawings in the corner of him in different poses. This is just the charcoal "mock up" on cartridge paper. It helps give the client an idea of the finished portrait and to decide which drawing's or remarque's to have around him, and as it is likely to change I don't want to spend too much time on something that is still a work in progress and just an aid to the end result.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Henry - a very gentle border collie

"Henry" Watercolour on Arches paper 16"x12" Copyright Marion Simkins

Shaun, working police dog Alsatian

I painted this portrait of Shaun from a black and white photograph.  Usually I use charcoal and pencil for a monochrome picture,  but decided in this instance that watercolour would make a better medium.  Sadly, Shaun passed away many years ago, but he was a working police dog.  The portrait was a surprise birthday present from the recipient's family.

Shaun, 12"x14" watercolour on Arches paper copyright Marion Simkins

"Dad had some lovely presents, but of course we saved the dog portrait until last.  He, and everyone else thought that it was really beautiful.  I guess your ears might have been burning at that moment!. The portrait was passed around for all to see, and then I showed everyone the actual photograph that you worked from.  It is quite uncanny, the likeness so perfect.  You are such a talented artist.  He is thrilled with it, and we plan to go out sometime together to select a suitable frame for it.  Then it will hang proudly in his home.  Dad was a little overcome with emotion at one point, but after a few minutes he recovered himself, and everything was fine again."

Dixie - 18 month old Spaniel

Meet Dixie, an 18 month old spaniel who looks incredibly regal, with the most hypnotic eyes!  Her portrait was also a special birthday present but not a surprise.  Although I love surprises, it was great to be able to discuss all the various options and to hopefully arrive at a decision for the portrait that is exactly what the recipient had in mind.

Watercolour on Arches paper 18" x 14" Copyright Marion Simkins

"Hi Marion,
   The watercolour has arrived! It’s AMAZING!!!   I Absolutely love it, you are amazing….thank you so    much for taking on the portrait, I can’t wait to frame and hang it.  My Mum and me both welled up when we saw it.  I’ve already got another project in mind for you… parents, boyfriend and me have 8 dogs between us so plenty to choose from!!!!!!! Her eyes are the most captivating part of the painting, they look so real, like I’m actually looking at her in real life.  You are a true talent, thank you so much….

"Pepper" the Airedale

Pepper was commissioned as a very special birthday present.  She was the perfect model, posing beautifully to have her photograph taken.

The finished portrait was painted in watercolour.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Dizzie & Ted - Finished painting

I am pleased to say that Dizzie & Ted are now finished.  It was much more complicated than usual and took much longer to paint, partly due to the size and that they were both full body portraits.

As the planning and then the actual painting took so much time, my easel feels a bit strange without them looking back at me. Fortunatley, the clients were thrilled with the finished portrait, here are some photos of the process and the final portrait.

Dizzie & Ted - Watercolour - 20"x30"/51cmx76cm

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Dizzie & Ted - Working sketches

Recently I have been working on this large full body double portrait of Dizzie the fox terrier and Ted the cat.  Ted is very fond of Dizzie the dog, and likes to nuzzle his head into Dizzie's neck.  It felt as though I had taken hundreds of photos of them in the garden, and was delighted with an   almost perfect photo capturing the moment.  I say "almost perfect" because the angle of  Dizzie's head wasn't quite right, Ted had his eyes closed and the preferred markings were on the opposite side of each pet.  Challenging, but not impossible.    As there were several changes  to the original photo and to help clarify the final image for the portrait, I made a few rough charcoal sketches using multiple reference photos for the clients approval before I began the painting.  I am just adding the finishing touches to the painting and will be back soon with photos of the painting in process.

Teddy & Bounce, Jack Russell double portrait

    Watercolour on Arches paper 15"x20"- 38cm x 51cm Copyright Marion Simkins

Monday, 2 March 2015

Charlie - Bull Mastiff

Watercolour on paper 16"x12" Copyright Marion Simkins

I can't quite believe that we are now into March.  Where does the time go?  I am falling behind in my admin duties so will try to make time for more regular updates. 
The above portrait of Charlie took much longer than I initially thought it would.  Partly because of the lovely wrinkles around her muzzle and in her furrowed brow, and partly because of the intricate pattern in her brindle coat.  Despite the hours of concentration, (I have a few wrinkles of my own now) I really enjoyed painting her.