Sunday, 25 September 2011

Portrait Miniature for Nikko Hurtado

As you all know, last year I got tattooed by Nikko Hurtado... Whilst being inked I made him a promise, that as a thank you I would paint a portrait miniature for him... I asked who he would like me to paint and he just said 'awww I duno dude?!'. 

With no exact subject matter, I decided to try and find an image that would: 1. Surprise him, and 2. Be personal... With that I found the perfect image of his son...

Its fun and quirky... plus, it's not a typical portrait shot, but I thought it was brilliant and would make Nikko laugh :)

Miniature painting is made up of hundreds upon hundreds of tiny dots... it takes time, precision and attention to fine detail.  If you click on the last image of this blog entry, you can see all the dots and how the image is made up.
I've said before that I like to paint images that are NOT traditional poses for portraits, I like unusual and amusing images (like the one I painted previously of Dasha and I).

Here are the images in progress...

5cm round, watercolours with '00000' size brush (around 10 hairs)

I wish I had started scanning this in sooner, but I get so nervous when I start a portrait, that it won't work the way I want, I won't get the eyes right, are the colours correct? etc... I was so nervous creating this portrait as I admire Nikko's portraits so much, I didn't want to disappoint... SO MUCH PRESSURE!!

The painting is not exactly like the photo, but as close too... (PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGES TO VIEW FULL SIZE!) I wanted it bright and 'alert' the colours to pop and for it to be a bold image, all of which I think I achieved.

This was the mount, then framed in an ornate black frame.

When I gave the portrait to Nikko, I was so nervous!  He took one look at it, laughed and said 'Dude, no way!!'  I think that was a good thing? Haha.  He seemed very surprised that I had painted the miniature for him, but I loved painting this image and hope he enjoys it for years to come... Like I will, with the beautiful tattoo that he done for me :)  This was the least I could do.  As I admire his portrait tattoos and paintings, he is a great role model of mine within the art world.

I hope you like it Nikko!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Father - A Portrait Miniature

In June this year, I took part at the 'farmers/craft market' at Rougham Airfield, in Suffolk.

Whilst there, I met a lovely young lady who was selling children books.  The day was uneventful regarding customers, so we kept each other company and talked about an array of things.

From this we started talking about my miniature paintings and Naomi loved the necklace that I was wearing of my nan, Elsie May.  She mentioned that in August this year she was getting married and would love to have one painted of her father, who sadly passed away last year.  Naomi said, that she would like to wear the necklace for her wedding day.

No pressure!

I normally scan the portrait in at different stages, so that you can see its progress.. but I had completed the portrait within 10-12 hours, so didn't see much point in turning the computer on and off every 2 hours.

This portrait was a joy to paint, even at times a little sad.  I know how much my pendant means to me, and I know how much it is going to mean to Naomi.  These pendants make your heart jump and pull a really strong emotional string.

I am going to meet Naomi later today to give it to her... 

I hope she likes it :)

But from a more 'artistic' perspective, I like to paint miniatures with a more contemporary feel. I like certain features to be more 'punchy', the hair to be loose and for the fabric to be 'bold'.

Thank you for reading...

I will now resume my portrait miniature painting for Nikko and show you the picture for that next week :)

Monday, 25 July 2011

I have to show you my personal portrait miniature...

2.5 x 3.4 cm

This necklace I designed and made over a year ago.  I wear it almost everyday.  It is of my Nan, 'Elsie May'.

This is hard to photograph well, and you cannot see the delicate detail work, but trust me, in the flesh it looks good and very much like my Nan.

Such a necklace can be commissioned and make the perfect gift for a loved one.

Tomorrow I am going to meet with a customer who has requested that I paint here father.  Last year he passed and his daughter has asked that I paint him and make her a necklace.  She is getting married next month and will be wearing the necklace on the day.

This is such an honour from my perspective.  If I can bring an ounce of comfort to her on that day, by having her dad close to her heart, that is what makes painting portrait miniatures priceless for me.

Thank you for reading and I will post more updates again soon when I start the next portrait miniature.

(photo below of my last miniature)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Royal Wedding Bank Holiday Activities

I have been relatively busy the past week, organising commemorative mugs and plates to sell, for the Royal Wedding at the Suffolk Food Hall in Ipswich, Suffolk.

These were a joy to create and what made them even better, was the fact that £2.50 of every item sold, will be donated to Cancer Campaign in Suffolk.  After selling 36 items, that means that £90 has been raised!  I would like to thank everyone who bought one and supporting the charity.

The weekend of the Royal Wedding, has been one of celebrating everything British and on this weekend, there was a car show... here are some pictures for your reference...

I also went to the local boot sales and bought this fab 'Elizabeth I' inspired print...

I love this picture and have placed it by the front door, so that at the start of my day, before I leave for work, I can look at it and feel inspired.

I was also a very lucky girl, as a Glynn Thomas print was bought for me.  I have wanted this print for over a year or two and now need a gorgeous frame to make it perfect, then this will be hanging in my lounge :)

In regards to my artwork, I have started preparing for a craft fair in June and Art on The Prom, in Felixstowe in Sep 2011.  I have also been asked, to create further mug designs for Suffolk Food Hall, which I am very excited about.  Pictures will follow over the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Royal Wedding Mugs and Plates - Ipswich Suffolk Food Hall

On the weekend, I had a sudden brain wave... to create a mug and plate design as a commemorative gift, regarding the Royal Wedding.  I couldn't possibly pass up on the opportunity, to be involved with such a British event!

So, I got to work drawing up some designs and created the following... (I took these photographs in my garden this morning, what a lovely day).

Each mug and plate is individually hand drawn on, by myself.

These mugs and plates are for sale at 'The Suffolk Food Hall' in Ipswich.  They are £5 each and for each item bought £2.50 will be donated to 'Cancer Campaign in Suffolk'.  I am a volunteer for Cancer Campaign and like to help where possible.  I am also aware that Kate and William have requested, that instead of gifts, for people to make donations to charity.

I feel this goes hand in hand, very well and what better way to celebrate the Royal Wedding with a bespoke mug with some British tea and a lovely cake on a unique themed plate.


Sid also had to get involved :)

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Finished Portrait Miniature 'Dasha and I' plus, Future Paintings...

There has been some delay in my updates...  This was due to the frantic painting, in the lead up to Tuesday 29th March (deadline for my portrait miniature submission ’Dasha and I’ to The Royal Academy – Summer Exhibition).
Since the ‘hand in’ date, I spent over a week recovering with sleep.  In the last 3 days to the deadline, I had only managed to get 12 hours sleep.  I was functioning on energy drinks and packets of crisps.
Nevertheless, on the day of my visit to London, I was extremely nervous.  Whilst handing the painting in, it was over and done within 5 minutes... and my heart sunk.  All of the stress and build up of anxiety was dissolved within a few moments.
So, for your viewing pleasure, please see the updated images of the portrait below.  It measured at 5.4cm x 6.6 cm.
Actual size (after you click on image)

This image is to give you an idea of scale (10p coin same size as 25c)

Close up on detail

Overall I was happy with the painting.  I would have liked 1 more day of painting time, but that was to ‘brush up’ on extremely fine finishing touches.
I will update more portrait shots later...

Now, what am I to do with this portrait miniature over?..  Start the next one.
My tattoo by Nikko Hurtado

Whilst I was getting tattooed by the great, Nikko Hurtado in California last year, I spoke to him about portrait miniatures and promised him, that as a thank you, for what a beautiful job he had done on my tattoo, I would paint him a portrait miniature.  Last night I started this miniature painting and it is such an amusing image I’m pretty sure it will make Nikko smile.  I am also making a bespoke frame for this miniature painting.  Nikko and his brother collect gorgeous unique frames and have an array in their studio, so, it is well fitting that I get a bespoke frame created...  A while back in my blog, I showed you two Bakelite plaques that I got from the boot sale?  These are what I will be turning into frames, I need to get a casting formula and then cast from that.  It will be tricky as I have never done this before, but that’s what I love about art, experimenting.
I will be making a cast frame this.

Unfortunately I cannot update photographs of this miniature painting, as it is a surprise for Nikko and he now knows that I have started painting it :)
However I will keep you updated with the progress of the frame, so it’s worth staying tuned. 

On other news, I have just registered to exhibit at a local Christmas Craft Fair in Suffolk at the end of the year.  This looks like a very successful event, so I will start planning for that, as well as Art on The Prom on 4th September 2011.
Link to my profile on Art on The Prom website:

I am trying to stay extremely focused on my art and I really have a desire to explore my abilities as an artist.
Thank you for reading.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Portrait Miniature is BRIGHT!

This weekend I have been painting more on the following portrait...

Here are the images I briefly uploaded onto Twitter (E_M_Portraits) yesterday, plus one more image from the work, as I continued in the evening.

Now, I am aware that these colours are VERY bright and almost uncomfortable to look at, but, once I am happy with the overall painting, it will be darkened, but 'low-lights' and 'high-light' being added. I hope to add a great deal of darker shading to this painting, but you must start light and then go darker.

This painting has a lot of work to go, but it will not be this bright when finished!

I have also just seen Bill's blog and realised how new (practically baby) I am into this world of 'portrait miniature painting' nevertheless, he has painted hundreds and this is my 3rd, plus I have no tutor and I think I just need to keep practising and all will fall into place. Sigh*  I also admire his work greatly, but I want to bring a new style to painting miniatures, my own... more illustrative, brighter, newer subject matters etc... I just hope I can make this work!

Thank you again for reading. More updates will follow through the week.