Saturday, 11 January 2014

A recent commission for the team at London Gateway

Tim Halhead at London Gateway
Oil on canvas

24" x 18"

I though I would write a bit about this one which is a commissioned piece I completed just before Christmas.   It was commissioned by the Team at London Gateway as a retirement present for Tim Halhead and was due to be presented to him this week.  I was also commissioned to make a few sketches to go with it which I'll show in another post.   The painting and sketches were all completed from a number of photos taken by Andrew Bowen.   To following images show how I developed the painting from day to day.


The day before I was due to meet to discuss the commission I broke my leg.  This gave me a whole new challenge of having to work out how to paint from my sofa which became an improvised studio and I mostly painted with the canvas on my lap or used my good leg as an easel!

The painting turned out to be one of the most detailed and complicated images I've taken on for a long time and the whole commission took me just under 14 days to complete. I started off by staining the canvas to get rid of the white using an Acrylic wash.  I then gridded up the canvas and main photo and sketched out the composition using a grey pastel pencil.   I'd been asked to make the painting A2 sized.  In the end however I could only find a 24" x 18" canvas locally which turned out to be a good thing as it meant I had extra room at the bottom which allowed me to make the figure a bit larger.
Next came the under painting and sketching in the figure with a bit more definition.


 Here I've completed the under painting and started to work on the sky and details of the boat.  I started with the containers on the left then worked towards the right. This shot also shows the Terberg truck sketched out on the right which I'd been asked to include from another photo.

Completing the lettering at the back of the boat.

The background and the cranes are now all finished in this shot.  These I found difficult to paint as they were painted from a couple of different reference photos as was the figure.

A bit of re - drawing here to provide more definition in the figure.


 This shot shows the scale of the portrait with my index finger included as a comparison,   I've never attempted a likeness on this scale before! 

Here with the figure of Tim pretty much finished.


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