Being a fan of all things middle-earth, I was delighted to get the opportunity to create this unique Fun Art Portrait just before Christmas. It was to be a surprise a birthday gift with the brief of “having Nick sat with a hobbit house in back ground, in walking boots with a glass of red wine, wearing his rugby shirt.” To also include three Jack Russells somewhere in there as well. I set about sketching up the best composition and once we were all happy with the layout i got stuck into the Fun part of the process, Painting it.
My process is always one of building up the Painting in layers, starting with Blocking in the all colour areas. The biggest mistake i used to make was focusing on getting all the detail done in one section say a face only to discover my relational values were out of whack, usually far to bright as i was judging darkness section again the white or ochre stained canvas and not the blue sky or green foliage background that would be there in the finished painting.
Once you have the initial block in you then continually add layer of dark shadow section and bright highlighted sections, twerking where necessary until your happy with the work. You could keep on going, refining and layering for ever but i like to leave some of the brushwork evident, it gives the portrait it own character and texture. With Oil Paints you have to allow time for each layer to dry before working on top of it, i prefer to allow it dry for a week before adding the final Varnish. Once it has fully dried i package it up safely and pop it in the post so it can be send it off to it new home.