Monday, 15 June 2015

Musical Pictures.

Two blogs in a week - I'm flying!

To follow on my theme of tricky portraits, I've recently finished a commission for a surprise birthday present from Emma and her sister, to their Mother. The portrait involved the very cute Jock and Jasper, two little dachshund boys.

A few years ago, I was commissioned to do a surprise portrait of Emma's fantastic event horse, Ninety Nine. It was a Christmas present that nearly didn't make the date due to the courier messing up the bar codes and sending both pieces of work picked up from me to the same address - and it wasn't theirs!!! There was a bit of a mad dash across Scotland to collect it in time!

Despite this being Emma's portrait, it was still hanging in her Mum's house in pride of place above the fireplace, so there was clearly an agenda behind this commission - Jock and Jasper could hang in the space where Ninety Nine was, and Emma could reclaim her present!

Before I started it, I thought it was going to be one of those ones that goes swimmingly and I was looking forward to doing it. I had excellent photos to work from, Jock and Jasper's colouring matched and the images sat well together. For some reason, however, I couldn't get into the swing of it. I have no idea why this sometimes happens, but it does, and it makes me twitchy when I have a deadline.

Because I can't really rub out mistakes with the way I work there is no real opportunity to correct errors, hence every mark I make on the paper has to be accurate. When the drawing flows, it's almost an instinctive process, but when every mark has to be a considered decision, my focus starts to fry a bit! Even when I can still see it's working and I do know it's going to be fine at the end, it is still quite stressful!

All I could do was just keep going, and when suddenly I turned the corner (admittedly near the end!) I was really pleased with it. I was really happy how the frame finished it off.

There's a bit more of the story - when I was following the courier tracker to make sure all was going well, there was a missed collection at the depot, the parcel didn't make the Friday pick up at the airport, and the Monday was a Bank Holiday. I though history was going to repeat itself, but luckily the parcel arrived with days to spare!

So I've had a bit of a double whammy of result with this, as Jock and Jasper went down a storm and have gone above the fireplace, and Emma has pinched her picture back!

All's well that ends well!

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