Oil Paintings - Commissions, Portraits, Landscapes
Some of these paintings were produced for exhibition, of subjects I chose while others were private commissions. I started painting with oils at just eight years of age, before I’d really tried any other paint types, and it is my preferred 2D medium as a result. I tend to almost sketch the subject quite quickly and loosely and then gradually tighten the detail on the focal point of the painting.
Key Subjects: Portraits, Horses, Wildlife and Landscapes
My interest in anatomy and zoology means that I have specialised in animal paintings – horse portraits and wild animals in nature – and I have included examples of both types of subject here. With horses, as they are all so expressive and individual, it is essential to capture an exact likeness, just as would be expected from a portrait of a human subject, and I find oils give the best opportunity to get this right, as details can be altered minutely as often as is necessary to the satisfaction of the client, without muddying the image as it would if changes were made with watercolours or pastels.
I specialise in English landscapes in oils, and tend to paint these to commission, with or without wildlife included! I’m particularly fond of landscape close-ups on particularly interesting rocks, twisty trees or rivers.
The Design Process
I tend to work from photographs with oil paintings of horses or wildlife, so the likeness is easier to lock down, but it is always very helpful to meet the subject of a portrait and spend some time sketching them and getting to know them before beginning, where this is possible.
I discuss a client’s vision fully in order to produce a brief, then depending on the complexity of the project either create some concept sketches or move straight to the main design. The number of consultations I have with clients through the design process will depend on the complexity of the project, and will tend to involve sending photographs of the work in progress. I am happy to make revisions to the work at any stage, if needs be.
Oil paintings take weeks or even months to complete because they are built up in layers, and each layer needs several days to dry before the next is added. It isn't possible to speed up this process by artificially heating the canvas, as this can cause the paint to dry too rapidly and it will crack. So if you are planning on commissioning a special oil painting for a milestone anniversary or birthday, I would recommend ordering it around 12 weeks before the big day, to be sure it is finished and you will have time to get it framed.
I am based in Bath, and happy to travel to Bristol, Bradford-on-Avon, North-East-Somerset and North Wiltshire at no charge. Where the round trip will be more than 30 miles, I would charge travel expenses at a previously-agreed rate.