Happy Families

Welcome to my July blog

Summer is here to stay by the looks of it! I've become so used to these mediterranean temperatures for the last two months that when the wet British weather finally returns it will feel very strange. I still can't quite believe I'm in the UK but making the most of it while it lasts. Now the Summer season is in full swing my social calender has been packed with parties, birthdays, weddings, festivals and not to mention the football with all it's celebrations and commiserations :( I'm now feeling rather jaded and ready for a break. June/July has been my busiest time of the year for commissions too and I've been working on several jobs mostly of multiple portraits. I've recently finished a charcoal commission of 4 siblings. (below ) An older brother, sister and baby twin girls all under the age of six, their Mum certainly has her hands full!

The family came for a sitting and after being couped up for a 2 and half hour car journey from London they arrived in a whirlwind of chatter and mischief. They were an adorable bunch and such characters. The little girl was inquisitive and thoughtful by nature with cute freckles and her brother had a cheeky shyness and the most amazing curly hair which I wanted to showcase.

The twin babies were so identical when I first saw them that it was only the pattern on their dresses that set them apart. They both had these huge blue eyes, heart shaped face and little rose-bud lips. But the more I studied them the more I could see slight differences. One had wavier hair and the other a more rounded face. I didn't want the twins' portraits to be too similar because obviously they are individual people and different characters. I was pleased with the end result , it always helps when I meet the subjects and take my own photos as it gives me an idea of their personalities.

When I worked on the drawings I found using a grid useful to ge an accurate likeness

I've also just finished these pastel portraits of another family of 4 (below). They are a lovely family who live locally to me. I painted their sons several years ago when they were small and they wanted individual updated portraits of how they all look now. It was a present from all the family for their mums birthday.

Thay are an attractive family with great bone structure abd the 2 sons have very striking eyes and prominent eyebrows which I love. The parents wanted a looser more sketchy style for these portraits which is more of a challenge for me when painting faces. So working on a smaller scale on a pumice-like textured background prevented me from getting too stuck into teh detail thus giving a looser feel. Here are some pics of teh portraits in progress (below)

There have been a couple of big Birthdays recently and a few friends of mine clubbed together to commission this stylised portrait of a mutual friend of ours (below)

She's a fitness fiend who loves Prosecco and shopping :) I occasionally do these stylised portrait commissions as they make a fun gift but thay can be tricky as its not straight foreard observational drawing. Certain features have tobe exaggerated and giving the portrait a caryoony feel while still maintaining a good likeness can be a challenge. Itwas presented to her on her birthday and I'm happy to say she was delighted with it.

All my art classes have come to an end for the summer and will be starting up again in Autumn. Everyone has worked hard and Im very proud with the standard.

I'm so ready for a rest now and looking forward to a family holiday to Ibiza in a couple of weeks. I'll be soaking up the Spanish culture and the hippy vibes of the island and hopefully get some sketching in too.

Well I'd better get cracking , I've still got 2 more commissions to finish before I go away and 3 more in the pipeline. Enjoy the rest of the summer and stay cool..

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