I made a few portraits of a Dutch friend of mine over the past few months and when I met his family his nephew asked if I’d make a portrait of his daughter Haylen in a similar style.
Haylen’s a really animated and sweet little girl who laughs a lot and has fantastic teeth; we were all keen that she should show them off in the portrait. Her mum and dad sent me a few recent photos (none with the teeth, however) and one of her laughing when she was two.
I drew the portrait as an amalgamation of several of the photos and checked with the family that I’d caught Haylen’s ‘essence’ once the linework (below) was finished.
I was commissioned to make this double portrait while I was staying in Holland. I worked from a photo and made a linework likeness in pencil, drew over it in waterproof pen and then coloured it in with watercolour paints.
This was a time consuming lesson in getting the brief clear from the get go.
Initially I understood that Mike only wanted a portrait of his buddy, not a double portrait and I went ahead and finished it (below) without double checking. We were both disappointed at the mix up but very happy with the final outcome.
I was staying at Camping Schoonenberg, a beautiful campgound set in woodland in North Holland when one of the staff members saw me painting a portrait. He showed a photo of my painting to the manager who asked me to make a new combined sign and map for the campground. Delighted!
I started by making a rough map of the campground as I walked around it, using an aerial view from google earth as a template for the outline. The manager then helped me number the camping places and mark which ones had electricity.
I then drew the full size map out on paper and added all the details and text (above).
Once the draft had been approved I traced it onto a piece of primed marine plywood which had been cut to allow a narrow unpainted border.
Since the sign will be hung in a place which is sheltered from direct sunlight and rain and will be stored inside during the winter months when the campground is closed I chose to use acrylic paints which are water based. That makes the whole process much cleaner and odour free.