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Portrait of a friend

01 February 2011

One of my lovely friends got married on the weekend and she commissioned me to create a portrait of her as a wedding present for her husband. I thought you might be interested to see my process.

This is the finished piece. It's quite big - over one metre tall.

I started by taking a photo of Trenna, then I mucked around with it in Photoshop and had the black and white image printed onto canvas.

Then I began to paint in the background.

She had requested flowers in the portrait so I found some wrapping paper with colourful flowers which I roughly cut out and sticky taped in place to try some ideas out.

I decided to paint some line work flowers in the top left hand corner - I wanted them to be subtle.

Then I started work on the main flower in her hair.

When I'd finished the main flower I realised that I hated the line work flowers and painted them out! And I added some colour to her lips to match the flower.

I continued to rework the background, adding purples and reds to tie in with the flower, until I was happy with it.

I painted out the back of her hair and painted in more of a sweeping ponytail and then brought in background colours over the hair. After some finishing touches I was happy to stop. Sometimes one of the most difficult things is to know when enough is enough.

I haven't painted in so long - I usually create portraits digitally - and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.