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'Tribute' - Celebrating a Man in his Prime

A painted portrait is a lovely way to celebrate a person and I particularly love it when I'm commissioned to paint a portrait to mark a milestone or special occasion like a graduation, anniversary, wedding or a new addition to the family. It gives me a snippet of peoples' life stories and it feels really good to play a part in that celebration.

Sometimes though my portraits are painted under very sad circumstances.

I painted this lovely looking man recently. I was told by the agency that sadly he had passed away a year ago and his father had commissioned the painting. He had limited recent photos of his son and a particular photo that he wanted me to work from which was poor quality and in black and white.

I wanted the painting to be as real as possible so I endeavoured to recreate it in colour to give a more tangiable sense of him.

I often say that painting a portrait feels like an intimate experience for me because the subjects face becomes so familiar - I almost feel as if I know them personally by the end of the commission.

I felt a sadness throughout with this painting and found myself wondering what sort of person he was and the circumstances of his death.

But then I had to remind myself that my job is to stay focussed on the process and produce the best job I can for his family. I knew how I would feel if it was my son and I was driven by an urge to get the best possible outcome

It was a struggle but I was happy with the end result and thankfully his father was too :)

If I have played a part in celebrating this man's life and bringing some sort of comfort to his father, then my job is done.

If you are interested in commissioning a portrait of a loved one click here