Pastels are an exquisite medium which achieves a unique softness unattainable with any other medium, and is perfect for capturing the subtleties and softness of fur. Pastels have the purest pigment and are the most light fast of all mediums, which means they will not fade over time however, they are also the most fragile and the surface of a pastel painting should never be touched due to the small pastel particles being easily smudged. Given that they are protected from the elements, pastel portraits will last for many generations to come.
I use combination of hard and soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils which are artist grade and have high levels of pure pigment.
Pastel portraits are in full colour which includes a full colour background in either tonal or detailed scenes.
Pencil portraits can be created with graphite pencils, carbon pencils or charcoal pencils and sticks. Essentially, pencil portraits are black and white.
Graphite pencils are your traditional lead pencils in various grades of hardness. Graphite portraits have an overall grey tone as deep, rich blacks are not attainable without leaving a shine on it’s surface. To compensate for this, I will use carbon pencils in the darkest areas which eliminates shine.
Carbon pencils are a blend of charcoal and graphite that imparts a soft, velvety feel to the portrait. Carbon pencils give a similar effect to traditional graphite pencils but with much deeper blacks, are light fast and result in beautiful black and white, detailed pet portraits, perfect for dark coloured pets.
Charcoal pencils and sticks give a beautiful matte finish to the portrait with varying degrees of tones and deep, rich blacks. White charcoal can also be used for additional highlights if toned papers are used.
Oil paintings are easy to maintain, have one of the most durable surfaces of all mediums and last for many generations. Oils are also one of the most versatile mediums which can be applied in thick, buttery impastos or in thin, translucent layers. I work in both styles, sometimes incorporating the two for a more contemporary feel, but prefer the timeless and traditional application of many, thin layers of glazes for a luminous and detailed finish. No other medium is of higher value or more luxurious than a traditional oil painting.
I only use Artist grade, traditional oil paints and mediums from Winsor & Newton, Art Spectrum and M Graham, preferring certain colours from different manufacturers, especially for the paint’s transparency or opacity.
Oil portraits are available with either a minimalist (one colour), mottled or detailed background.
I only use artist grade papers for all pastel and pencil portraits which meet archival standards and are 100% acid and lignin free. This means that the paper will not yellow over time and the medium used on them will not fade or discolour with the passing of years.
Pastel portraits are created on Clairefontaine Pastelmat or Sennelier Pastel Card. Both papers are available in a range of colours. Which paper I use, solely depends on the requirements of the individual portrait as one paper will take more layers than the other. Both papers will result in highly detailed portraits.
Pencil portraits are created on Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed paper which is 100% cotton rag. It has a smooth surface with a very tight and light grain allowing for varying shades and textures with fine details.
Oil portraits are created on stretched, fine Italian Linen which I triple prime using an oil based gesso for superior adhesion of the oil paints. The canvas is professionally stretched and gallery wrapped over kiln dried, heavy duty, stretcher bars.
Stretched canvases are individually custom made to size, with deep sides (4cm) which are then painted in a colour that compliments the painting. Deep sided paintings are framed with a floating box moulding, whereas shallow sided paintings (1.5cm) are framed using a traditional slip and moulding.