Let It Snow....not rain!

Hello there and welcome to my Christmas Blog! Yes I've said the C word- it seems to come around earlier each year and I'm never prepared for it! I've been preoccupied with all the political turmoil at present and the coming election has had me flummoxed. I seem to lose faith in humankind everytime I look at the news channels and I'm so tired of the false promises, deceit and immorality from the privileged and powerful, it's left me in a real quandary... So have some light relief from the current state of affairs, and have a little read of what I've been up to recently.

As always it's a very busy time during the festive period with my on-the-spot portraits at various Christmas events and a few commissions on the go too. Below is a recent charcoal commission of two sisters- I did a painting of them years ago when they were small and recently their Dad sent me a photo of them from their skiing holiday. He wanted an updated charcoal drawing for his wife.

I worked on toned paper to show off the white furry hood- I thought the finished portrait made a cheery and Christmassy image :)

I've been working on making video blogs for the future and am hoping to eventually have all my newsletters in video format. My new 'vlog' will be completed hopefully early next year. In the meantime I've been playing around filming with my phone, below is a spedded up version of a pastel portrait in progress

I've been busy working on an interesting painting of a Barrister at the moment. He was a past client who I painted 20 years ago (see pic below) and has recently got in touch for an updated portrait.

This was the life size oil portrait from 20 years ago, he wanted to be reclining and requested a Roman bath house scene in the background. I loved working on this commisssion and it now hangs with pride in his London Chambers.

He is a very accomplished and educated man with a larger than life character and makes a great subject to paint. The new painting will hang along side the original one so he wants the dimensions to be the same and to include two figures set against an Egyptian style interior. It's been quite a challenge to get the composition right and to get the figures to interact pleasingly in the picture plain. I've also had to grapple with perspective drawing for the construction of the background which isn't in my comfort zone.

This commission will require alot of creative license - the background is mostly invented as well as the costumes and of course the pet Cheetah! I did lots of thumbnail drawings and tonal studies beforehand.

So I had resolved any compositional and drawing issues before I made a start on the much larger painting.

Here are some snippets of the underpainting in progress

It is still in the very early stages and I have a long way to go. Now the underpainting is completed I can start to add the colour - I'll keep you posted on my progress!

That’s it folks. Thanks for reading and see you next time. Please keep the comments coming and feel free to share this blog.

Finally, I wish you Health, Happiness and Peace this Christmas and New Year x

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