Thursday, 22 December 2016

Surprise christmas commissions are all finished and I am looking forward to sharing them with you in the New Year.  In the meantime here is a festive Gunner and Tigger commissioned Christmas 2014.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  See you in 2017.


I have been secretly working on some Christmas commissions and looking forward to sharing them with you. In the meantime, here is Charlie, the Bull Mastiff from last year.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Jasper - the energetic black lab

As previously mentioned, due to my first grandchild arriving in September, I have had a little break from portraits.  A couple of weeks ago I met a beautiful incredibly energetic 5 year old black lab named Jasper.  I must have taken over 100 photos and still couldn't capture him looking regal with his tongue in.  He was so lively he wouldn't sit still for a minute despite all the usual bribes of treats and toys, it didn't help that there were plenty of fallen apples lying in his garden...........a blurred photo with a waggy tail, tongue hanging out and lots of slobber, now that I can do.
We have another photo session due, so if you have any helpful tips please let me know!

Jasper's portrait will be appearing in the New Year now after the secret Christmas commissions.

Mabel - English Cocker spaniel

Mabel was commissioned as a surprise 50th birthday present for Paul.  There were secret telephone calls and photo session that fortunately remained a secret.  I posted Mabel's finished portrait back in September.
Aren't her eyes just beautiful?

Brambles finished portrait /Recent News

I have really fallen behind in updating my blog.  I had posted photos onto facebook but neglected to do the same on here.  Then in September my daughter had a baby girl, so I downed brushes to enjoy this special time.
So, for a speedy catch up, I will post the portraits now that should have been 3rd and 19th September, and then post current news, before I can post secret Christmas commissions.

Bramble's portrait completed 3rd September 2016

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Bramble 'Painting in progress' update

I have been busy working on Bramble's portrait this week. Here are are a few more "in progress photos"

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Painting in progress photos of Bramble

I have finally got round to posting "Painting in progress" photos of Bramble's portrait. Very early stages still, adding watery washes of colour, slowly strengthening in some areas and lifting pigment in others.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Update from the Easel

Time really does fly!!! I haven't been able to post photos of my current work due to several "surprise" commissions, which like buses, all came along together.

I am just finishing a commission with the most beautiful expressive eyes, the phrase "The eyes are the window to the soul" have never been more true and I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture them in paint. As I mentioned it will be a surprise birthday present so will post some pics when the birthday has passed.

Really looking forward to making a start on Bramley next, who has been patiently waiting since March. I will be posting some "in progress" photos very soon.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Oil painting - work in progress

Currently painting a special "surprise birthday" portrait. As I can't share any photos yet, here is a "work in progress" of an oil painting for a change.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Bramley's photoshoot

Last monday I met Bramley, a gorgeous 5 year old Golden Retriever who has recently been through the wars.  He was so affectionate, friendly and a fantastic model despite having a lump removed for cancer the week before. You can see what a tough time he has had in these photos but despite what he has been through he was such a happy boy!

Monday, 29 February 2016


This was such a fantastic photo to paint from.  I left out the background to keep the focus on the two sisters, and their close bond.

work in progress with original photo

Completed painting

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Precious moments

Before we know it our children are all grown up! This precious moment, painted in watercolour of a father taking his daughters to school will hopefully be a wonderful memory.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Wedding at Rayleigh Windmill

A romantic post for Valentines day. I was asked to paint Rayleigh Windmill before Christmas as a first Wedding Anniversary present which is paper. My client was married at the windmill on 24th Dec 2014 and had seen a painting I did of the windmill a few years ago. The photo he wanted was of them on their wedding day standing with their wedding car in front of the windmill. With so much detail, sadly there just wasn't enough time. The perfect solution was to have a beautifully gift boxed gift certificate to give her on the day, they went away on holiday in January and when they returned they were able to collect the finished painting. Perfect!
Happy Valentines Day.

Archie & Lily

Archie & Lily 56x46cm Watercolour on paper

It was at the end of July last year when I was first asked to paint Archie & Lily, two Border Terrier's as a surprise for the wife of my client, whose birthday was in November. A lot of work went into the planning of the composition as it proved impossible to obtain one perfect photo in the positions my client preferred. By using many photos of Archie & Lily in different poses and expressions, I was able to sketch them appearing together, Archie standing and Lily seated as requested and when my client was satisfied, I started work on the painting. It was a quite large 22"x18" full body portrait so took some time to complete. I have since heard that my client's wife was thrilled with the portrait and is having a print made of the painting as well. Which is wonderful news and incredibly satisfying.

Ralph the Border Terrier

Ralph - watercolour on paper/pencil remarques copyright Marion Simkins