Monday, 19 March 2012

We've done it!!!

For several weeks now I haven't had the time to post to my blog nor visit any of the blogs I follow. This hasn't been through any lack of interest, but a simple lack of time. I have only a couple of weeks (3 at most) until I retire and my workloads have gone crazy as I try to effect a proper handover to my replacement. I am determined to leave my office ship-shape and Bristol fashion with everything up-to-date and properly in order.

On top of that, I have also undertaken my biggest ever drawing project. Not huge for many of you, but MASSIVE for me. A little under two years ago my only daughter got married. Right then and there I KNEW I just had to do a portrait of her and my new son-in-law on their wedding day. Whilst a nice sentiment the reality is that I am too technically challenged for such a project ... or was. However, where there's a will there's a way ... right? A book by Lee Hammond, plenty of sketching and shading practice, and the will to 'raise the bar' have all contributed.

Scouring through the hundreds of photo's of the wedding I was struggling to find anything suitable. Nearly all the photo's were of posed groups with the happy couple looking straight at the camera. A few had them looking at each other but were obviously posed. Eventually I found the shot I was looking for. It was a poor photo of a crowd and towards the back, my daughter and new husband were exchanging a glance. It was moments after the ceremony and it didn't need words to be spoken for it to be obvious what they were thinking .... "we've done it!".

Daler Rowney "Heavyweight" paper.  220 gms - 15" x 11" 

The photo was taken with flash with a bright window immediately behind them, so lighting was appalling but, nevertheless, it was good enough to work from, especially with plenty of others to refer to for guidance. It has produced a picture of the day that is not in their album and that pleases me greatly. This has taken me almost 2 weeks and I took a dozen photo's of it during the process in order that I might post a WIP. I've had second thoughts about that now but if there is sufficient interest I would be happy to post the stages.

On Saturday I fixed, mounted and framed the drawing and yesterday my wife and I visited my daughter and son-in-law and presented it to them. They like it. ;-)

29 comments:

  1. Wow John, what a project and what a fabulous result! The detail in the hair of your daughter and her gown is amazing! Great job!

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    1. Thank you Judy. Whoever decided she was having ringlets obviously had no intention of drawing them. lol.

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  2. John, this is awesome! The attention to detail incredible. What a lovely gift for your daughter and son-in-law! This rivals anything that Lee Hammond has ever done.. you must be so proud!

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    1. Oh Rose, what a lovely thing to say. Thank you very much.

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  3. I don't think you can give a better gift than this....they make such a beautiful couple, John! She's beautiful! Gorgeous hair and you can see the "glow" in her and her husband!!! Congratulations!!! and glad to see you back!!

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    1. She did 'glow' Hilda, in fact as part of my speech I said I'd never seen her looking so radiant, nor him so pleased with himself. lol. Thanks for the lovely comment ... it's nice to be back.

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  4. This is fabulous John , look at the accuracy with which you did their hair, the shadows on your daughters skin that really shapes her body...outstanding! What a wonderful gift, they must be so happy, and the look between them just says it all!

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    1. It was that 'look' that I was so anxious to capture Jane. Thank you very much.

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  5. They must be so THRILLED with this! It really is a beautiful portrait and nicer than any photo could be! Clearly you are fantastic at all kinds of art! I have a new follower on my blog. His name is also John and there is a link to his brand new blog, Gatehouse Pictures on my side-bar. I thought of you when I looked at his blog. He does the most incredible and intricate pen drawings of buildings and machinery! His work reminded me a little of you :0)

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    1. Thank you very much Sandra ... I'll come and have a look at John's work first chance I get. Sounds interesting.

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  6. Fabulous work, John. This must put all the wedding photographs into the shade. I'm sure it will be their most treasured reminder of the day.

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    1. Thank you Keith. I'm just pleased that I finally managed to do it.

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  7. Of course they like it, it's a great posrtrait!

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  8. Not surprised they like it, John, its outstanding! xx

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  9. Absolutely amazing work, John. You should be extremely proud of this. As Keith says, the photo album will be a poor second to this beautiful drawing in your daughter and son-in-law's memory :)

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    1. Thank you Michael, I appreciate it. It would have been better done nearer the occasion but better late than never, eh? lol

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  10. John you have done a magnificent drawing. What a wonderful gift to give you daughter and her husband. They will always treasure this gift. Congrats on both the drawing and your up and coming retirement. All the best to you.

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    1. Thank you very much Joan. Yes, I'm really looking forward to retirement and lots more time for art. ;-)

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  11. What a superb drawing you have done John. I think they must be thrilled with it. The stages of the drawing would be very nice to see at some time.

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    1. Thank you Ann. I will be making a WIP page at some point but in the meantime you may be interested in following the thread in my forum where I posted my thoughts right from the selection of the reference photo, through to the finished piece. Try this link ... hopefully it will work.

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  12. Jon this is so incredible. :) I absolutely love the moment and expression you've captured here. It's superb. And can you imagine what your daughter must feel knowing that you did this. Awesome. :))

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    1. Thank you very much Crystal. It's that 'moment' that caused me to pick this reference photo and I'm glad it came through in the final drawing.

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  13. John this is a beautiful piece of work - very well executed, and your daughter's face says it all. Well done.

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  14. ..i'm sure they loved it john .... super ! ..look foward to seeing lots of art work now .

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  15. Great portraits here John, well done and it`s great to see you back mate. All the best.
    Vic.

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