On New Years Eve I received a telephone call from a new client in Canada. They wanted to Commission a Painting of various family members, including themselves on Blyth Beach in Northumberland. Although the client had photographs of the family on the beach, the composition of the figures wasn’t suitable for a painting. Also, the day they were there was very overcast and dull. I took a trip to the beach to gather reference material. From the reference, I was able to produce a small A5 watercolour with a grey sky and I included the family on the beach. I also added the pier and the lighthouse to provide the setting of the scene.
The client loved the sketch, suggested a couple of small changes, then I was good to go. Although the painting was quite simple in terms of composition, it meant that every element had to be painted well from the cloud shapes to the beach. I was also asked to do a small print run so that the family members could all have copy of the original to remember the special occasion.
Cathedral Square, Newcastle upon Tyne
The next commission I received was from a young lady. Her father was about to retire and she wanted to Commission a Painting of the building where he had worked. The building was on the corner of Cathedral Square on Mosley Street in Newcastle. The client loves my painting of the Theatre Royal in Winter with my granddaughter wearing a red coat. She wanted something similar so she asked if I could have her dad in the painting with a maroon umbrella.
After gathering reference material over several visits to the building, I was able to produce a 12″ x 9″ original watercolour. The client was thrilled with the painting and so was her father.
I do enjoy working with gold leaf. It can give such an interesting feel and mood to a painting. The painting can take on a different feel depending on how the light catches the gold. L’Hotel Marrakech is the favourite hotel for a particular gentleman who was celebrating his 50th birthday there. It is owned by Jasper Conran. One of my clients is a close friend of the chap having his 50th. birthday boy. He commissioned me to paint the hotel from photographs he had selected. I added the 22 carat gold leaf to the areas of artificial light coming out from the windows. The painting looked great when seen with spotlights hitting the gold.
This small watercolour of the little girl paddling in the sea was commissioned as a wedding present for our daughter and her husband. It was to go alongside two other watercolours I had painted of her children when they were little. Once again, I was provided with photographs. I made sure that the palette and composition tied in with the other two watercolours. The framing of the painting was also identical so that they were able to hang all three together.