Portraiture is one of the most ancient art forms to express our love and affection for someone special in our lives. I like particularly simple and intimate portraits. Much can be said with the contrast of light and shadows, or a gentle tilt of the head. A direct and honest fine art portrait always conveys with openness and truth that original mystery and universal beauty we all possess.
A portrait painter working in the direct tradition must capture a likeness with speed and a painterly touch which is always a fun challenge. It is demanding, exciting, and the results always original. It is my favourite genre to accept commissions, therefore when someone comes for a sitting at my studio it becomes an interesting new project and an opportunity for team effort. For my clients commissioning portrait work is a way to remember loved ones, and to show the affection and care they have for a particular family member or a special friend. This combination of a technical challenge and a caring intention makes the experience a delight as we get to know each other finding interesting and varied topics to talk about.
When commissioning a fine art portrait I give clients two options: they can come to my studio in Newcastle for a first meeting to get to know each other, discuss their needs, and assess if I can help them with my impressionist style of work. If we decide to go ahead then we schedule a sitting session which normally goes for a couple of hours. In this second stage we aim for an alla prima tonal impressionist head and shoulders study in oils on panel which is a direct, expressive, and fresh style of fine portraiture work. These types of studies tend to focus more on light, broad likeness, and character rather than minute details or a formal look.
Alternatively, if the client or sitter is not able to come to my studio the second option is to send me several images of the person being depicted. Then I choose the most appropriate image for a painting, advise the client on my chosen photograph, and create an oil portrait on panel using a more layered system; an amalgamation of Impressionism and the Flemish Baroque method, which allows easily a higher level of small detail and optical effects if desired but still with a good degree of free brushwork.
After the commission is completed I send an image to the client, this allows one opportunity for feedback and corrections if needed. The finished work then goes into a period of drying and a final protective varnish is applied normally after 3 months. The final stage is when payment occurs, and shipping or picking up the piece from my studio concludes the process.
To enquire for portrait commission work in Newcastle or further afield, special requests, and more specific questions please contact me here.