The following has been written by one of my Pet Portrait Diploma students. I asked if Joan to write about her piece of artwork she sent in to me for critique called ‘Spring Chickens’. I hope that you enjoy reading it and viewing Joan’s artwork! ======================================================
Hi I’m currently working my way through the pets portrait diploma course and after my last critique my tutor Melanie asked if I’d like to write a blog about my piece the “spring Chickens” which she liked.
I was inspired watching my own girls “Gloria” and “Pixie” scratching and rooting around at the bottom of my garden scraping up my daffodils and other lovely spring flowers! I chose to use the images I’d taken of them for the exercise on combining two head studies into one composition in set 4.
I wanted my painting to show some of the hen’s character and zany look and also my flowers to have a natural hap – hazard feel to them so I spent a bit of time working out the best composition to achieve this. I had to flip one of the images so that it was looking toward the other bird, and I had to pay attention to the direction of light and invent some on the left hand bird. I also wanted the viewer’s eyes to circulate my picture and thought that I could use the flowers and leaves to help do this. I tried to have most of the larger background daffodils placed so that they were facing into the centre of the picture but had the odd one looking out and by adding a mix of fully open and budded flowers I hoped to keep it all natural. I drew the flowers directly above the hens with a darker trumpet as I thought this would direct the focus down to the hens. I also wanted my picture to have a sense of depth so I tried to be careful and not paint the background flowers to deeply as they might have taken the focus away from the chickens.
This piece was painted on pastel mat using Derwent pastel pencils. I worked on it over Christmas and got a little frustrated with it half way through, but I’m happy with the end result I hope you like it too.
Joan Gontarek – (Pet Portrait Diploma)