A Wedding Portrait
Finally getting to show you all a wedding portrait I recently handed over. It has been a while in the making! Some pieces take longer than others and because this drawing was so different in terms of its original concept it took time to get the composition right and of course because it was a portrait, getting the likeness and character of the people is important. Portraits can be difficult! The least little mark or shading may not go in your favour!! It takes time and perseverance, I am growing to appreciate this more and more.
This drawing was something very different and gave me the opportunity to create a very unique composition that was personal to the couple who were to be gifted it. It is one of my biggest commissions to date and I am so very grateful and excited by it x
When you give a gift that has such personal meaning behind it it can be hard to know what to decide on or indeed where to start. I always encourage anyone I chat with to tell me about all of their ideas, no matter how strange or wacky they may seem! I ask questions, listen and jot things down. Ideas are thrown together and I request photos or images too whether it is the photo or photos Ill be working from or images they may have come across. As mentioned in a previous post some ideas can be funny, some have a story behind them and some can be sad or it could just be a case of this is exactly what I want! Some people have no idea where to start!! That's where I help too x
To get the ball rolling on this drawing (and most drawings or paintings) planning is key. Jotting down ideas, sketching and researching further to truly understand and to get in the "Zone".
Below are some pics of my sketchbook... Here I am sketching and writing, adding colour and sometimes different materials. (I have blocked out some of the information written down just to keep any personal info shared with me confidential).
The theme or ideas for this piece were quite spiritual and need a lot of thought and research ...
Some images I came across during my research that got me thinking of compositions and visuals below
A journey, a path, transformation, spirituality, Self, wholeness and exploration, just some of the words that transpired from chatting to Brendan who along with other family memders commissioned this piece, a gift to their brother and future sister-in-law
On researching and teasing out ideas sketches were created and decisions were made. The sketches below were created before I had seen the wedding photos or photos of the couple and therefore took on an abstract finish while always thinking of layout and content. The final piece was to be created after the wedding which is something I have done before.
After seeing the wedding photos, I drew quick sketches to see how the portrait of the couple would fit into the initial composition . I knew some elements would change from the preliminary sketches.
Once Brendan was happy to go ahead with what I had in mind it was time to get it done!! Measuring and constantly looking at the photo as I pencil in each mark on the paper ...
Lots of layering, shading and adding tones ...
Really enjoyed drawing the hands!
Brendan had a quote taken from a piece of writing that he wanted to include. I have done script writing in other pieces and was delighted to do some more. I researched some wedding fonts I thought would be appropriate ...
Loved doing this and also added some gold to tie in with the gold triangle
When I know I'm almost finished a piece I get too excited and often times find it hard to concentrate. Sometimes with a piece it can be a struggle to know when to stop and when it's finished. That's when I know that I need to not look at it for a few days and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. It will then either be finished or it might need a final touch to bring it together. This drawing needed just that, something to bring it together and then it was done x
This is the photo I chose to work from and the result is the final piece ...
A simple, champagne coloured frame was chosen and I am excited to say that the couple were absolutely delighted with their gift.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog,
Ballymagarvey Wedding Invite
I recently had the pleasure of designing a most personal wedding invite. As most of you are aware by now that I love taking on new opportunities when it comes to creating so when I was asked to create a drawing for a wedding invite I absolutely jumped at the chance and was so thrilled to be given a this new opportunity. To date I have only ever designed one other wedding invite! (See Image Below)
I really enjoyed the whole process of creating a drawing for a wedding invite, from start to finish. Meeting up to discuss, mulling through what seems to be endless amounts of ideas or overthinking the whole lot and then pulling it back to simplicity whilst endeavouring to capture an essence that perfectly reflects the couple or the couples ideas.
Oftentimes the venue is incorporated into the design of the invite. When speaking with Siobhán and discussing ideas with her I encouraged her to throw all of their ideas at me. I asked her to send on any images that would help and or write down what she was thinking and to sketch them herself if she could (even if it meant stick figure drawings!!) If there were any words, phrases or lyrics that came to mind ... Anything at all really that would help! We also discussed the wedding venue, Ballymagarvey Village in Co. Meath. This became significant in our conversations when Siobhán was describing the setting. You could feel the happiness and delight of this place coming through the phone when we first discussed it. You know when you can almost touch a persons happiness?? (I don't know if that makes sense??? .. lol ) As I had never heard of Ballymagarvey Village I couldn't wait to have a nose :) My goodness what a beautiful venue. Right in the middle of the countryside, an old manor house with adjoining cottages and courtyard steeped in history. Stone walls, secret gardens and water. A special venue.
Some photos I took of the venue when I attended the wedding ...
As you can see a most beautiful setting.
As mentioned previously the venue became significant in the design of the wedding invite. From throwing out lots of ideas to be discussed and examined further we were able to pull it back and create an invite that portrayed the venue and the couple in a most romantic way.
Lots of preliminary sketches were created and images discussed before finalising how the final invite was going to look. Here are some of the initial drawings ...
Then the final design ...
The main theme or the most important aspect of creating this invite was that the couple wanted to make it personal to them. They wanted a one off, unique design that reflected the essence of their relationship and the path they both have taken, both past and present. I created many drawings for this wedding, which I will discuss and show you in another blog post. One idea that came to mind that I thought would be quite quirky and unique to them was the idea of combining a shamrock and thistle into a drawing! The bride being Irish and the groom Scottish. Here's how it turned out ...
They both loved it so much they decided to use it on the envelope of the invite as well as on stickers as part of the wedding stationary!
The initial idea above and the final design below ...
Thank you for taking the time to read,
I haven't been on here in what feels like aaaages!! I have been busy with all sorts and trying to manage my time effectively, ah ya, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't lol.
This evenings blog post is about a commission I have just handed over and can finally show you all ... Phew!! As you know I try my hand at anything that will give me the opportunity to create and to use my passion of drawing and painting to recreate personal gifts and ideas. On creating such pieces I often question or think about the pieces that I have been asked to draw or paint; why people want such pieces and I also love hearing about the stories behind some of them. The recurring theme is most definitely memories or moments in time. My aim when creating any piece is to try and recreate feelings and emotional responses through the medium of art. Always thinking of the person, place or story whilst creating the piece..
Ciara got in touch through my facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/JaneHoganArtist/#. She was looking to get a drawing done of her current family home which has been in the family for quite some time as they are considering a move to a quiter, countryside location. I was only too happy to oblige and very grateful to do this.
Below are some of the photos I took during the process of creating this drawing. I hope you enjoy. x
Dot, dot, dot, dot, dotting ...to recreate those hedges!
The end piece always professionally mounted.
Thank a million for reading,
So excited to share with you my most recent commission. Something I haven't delved into in a while is portraits. I get lots of requests for pieces and am very open to this. The work that I have created has taken the perfect scenic route so far and has given me plenty of good challenges. Art is such a problem solving, decision making process with highs, lows and the in betweens but the passion to create always remains! Opportunities to create a diverse range of work have come my way and I have just gone with it, or you might say "going with the flow". A great way to develop and hone in on my craft.
I love creating pieces and hearing the stories behind each one, some sad, some funny and some just a special moment in time or a memory with a longing to be relived through a unique form. Portraits are always a challenge. Getting the likeness as well as the character and or mood of the person takes time and persistence. The photos given are an important part of the start of the whole process. Alot of the photos I have worked from so far have capured or hinted at the type of person within the image. You get a feeling or a certain energy that just beams from it and this is something I aim to create within both my drawings and my paintings.
The following is a portrait gift I created for my cousins 50th birthday. I can't remember what age he was here but the drawing is based on a photo that my mother had in her possession. I thought it would be a good idea to create a drawing of it as a keepsake for my cousin, to relive that moment and the memories that it would evoke. It was so funny!!
This drawing of my cousin was from a photo that was taken on the road to our Grannies house in Boyle, Co. Roscommon.
When Emma contacted me to do a portrait I jumped at the chance! She always wanted to have a drawing done of her three girls (Eva, Kate and Sarah) and thought that it would be a lovely gift to give her husband. Emma sent me the photo and I couldn't wait to get started. The character that beamed from the photo was just lovely and I was eager to try my best to recreate that for Emma. It genuinely was such a lovely photo to work from.
The photo I was given to work from ...
The process ...
All wrapped up and ready to go ...
.... hanging in its new home x
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and look through the photos on the blog. I hope you enjoyed.
I can't believe that I am actually writing a blog post about a wedding dress I was asked to draw! I have always wanted to draw someones wedding dress and have always meant to ask someone or even one of my friends if I could draw theirs! (I never did) As luck would have it I was contacted through my facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/JaneHoganArtist/ , by Linda .... All very exciting : ) Lindas sister Lisa was getting married and Linda wanted to get her something really special, a keepsake that could be hung on her wall, a timeless gift.
You know me I'm open to requests for commissions especially gifts that capture a moment in time or of a special memory that will be on someones wall forever. I was sooooo delighted when she asked if I would be interested in drawing her sisters wedding dress. I could not believe my luck, I was so excited to get started (It was very hard to wait until after the wedding, I was dying to get stuck in).
When I can I love meeting up with the people requesting commissions from me. I love hearing the stories behind the ideas or the stories behind the photographs. Sometimes I can just get that great feeling or the happiness or wonderment that beams from a photo and thats enough for me to try and capture in my drawings. Linda is based in Abu Dhabi so meeting up straight away wasn't going to be an option!! Linda had some ideas and she sent on any photos she could that would get the ball rolling.
Depending on the commission, I like to do my visual research so sketching ideas, working from photos I've been given to formulate a plan and to get into that head space (and also because I get to draw more things!! lol)
Here's some preliminary sketches that got the ideas flowing ...
We discussed lots of ideas including the possibility of including Lisa's dads very first car that was actually the car that was used in the wedding!
We decided it was best to just stick with the wedding dress. The dress itself is so intricate and elegant that including anything else might have taken from it. Lisa had a striking bouquet of flowers that I thought would be such a nice touch to include. Also the graphite alongside elements of colour is very effective.
As soon as the wedding was over and Linda was able to provide me with some pics I was able to work away on my very first professional drawing of a wedding dress .... A dream of mine for ages :)
Thanks a million for reading
A Wedding at St. Marys
I'm writing this blog this evening whilst trying to finish what feels like ten million other things!!! Do you ever get days like that where it's everything all at once and then it's all calm again. This blog post has been on my mind to write the past couple of days so I just had to sit down and do it this evening (everything else will just have to wait!!!!)
A couple of years ago Kathleen contacted me to see if I would do a drawing/painting for her. Her sister was getting married and Kathleen wanted to surprise her with something unique that would capture the essence of her wedding day. She thought it would be a wonderful keepsake.
Kathleen wasn't sure what she wanted in the image and wether or not it should be a drawing or a painting or what size. A good challenge for me I thought. I love doing this and love hearing the stories behind peoples ideas and that's where the ideas for imagery begin to merge from chatting to the client and really listening. We met up on a few occassions and sifted through some ideas. We chatted about the them for the wedding (if any), the venue, if it was a church wedding, where the couple lived etc...
The theme of the wedding was vintage and as the couple don't live near the church we decided that including the church would be a nice idea as well as creating that old vintage look which would reflect the theme of the wedding. Kathleen had it in mind to include a wedding party on the gounds of the church which was similar to a photo she had of her parents wedding at the same church! All very exciting. I couldn't wait to get started!!
I began researching vintage themed weddings, 1920s formal wear for both male and female etc,
From here I created some sketches from the imagery I had collected. It was important for me to fully grasp the essence of vinatage in a formal setting in order to capure this special memory with effect
These sketches allowed me to develop fictional characters for the drawing. I also played around with different techniques and styles in order to achieve that old sepia look that old images have. Coffee, the old reliable worked wonders!! During our meet up I would show Kathleen the drawings I had created and we discussed what was working and what wasn't. I should mention that every client is different and so meeting up does not always need to happen. Kathleen was delighted with the direction it was going and once she was happy with size and medium and image after our second meet up it was full steam ahead!!! Always love getting to this part!!
Below is St. Marys Church in Nenagh... The bride originates from here but lives with her husband in Dublin ....
The final drawing ...
The final drawing and its frame ... !
A beautiful memory captured in a drawing. Something different hanging on the couples home in Dublin.
If this idea is something you would like to gift someone for a wedding present give me a shout ...
Thank you for taking the time to read this,
Hope you've had a lovely weekend and made the most of it despite this dreary weather! I thought it was never going to stop raining on Friday!!! Getting the hang of this whole blogging thing (well, I like to think I am anyway lol !!)
So, while I am busy with creative endeavours ;) I thought I would continue to show you how I go about creating my commissions. In August 2015 I held my very first solo exhibition in Nenagh Library. (Something I will most likely chat to you about down the line on here) It was a bigger success than I could ever have dreamed of and really was not expecting it. It was such a brilliant experience. If you are an artist and considering doing a solo show just go for it what have you got to lose. There are lots of places open to exhibitions just ask around and get the thinking cap on!!
Anyways ... Sinéad bought one of my paintings at the exhibition and after about a week later she contacted me to see if I would do a piece for her. Sinéad is a a collector of art and has a very keen eye so I was so excited when she bought one of my paintings and wanted to commission two more pieces (I honestly could not believe it!!!) It was such a fantastic opportunity and Sinéad is such a wonderful person to work with. She had one specific piece in mind (I will tell you about that another time otherwise you will be here all day reading this blog post!!) and the other she was leaving up to myself. The only thing was that the piece was going to be hung in a particular room in her house. I met up with Sinéad and she kindly allowed me to go and take photos of the room. I like to get a feel for a project before starting so for me it was important to go visit Sinéad in her house and try to capture her style of decor and know what she likes and doesn't like. Other important factors were the scale of the piece and also colour or not! It was going to be a painting.
I took some photos both inside and outside her home. Whilst speaking to Sinéad we talked about all sorts. She talked to me about the memory garden she had planted infront of the house. She told me a very sad story about what happened to the person this memory garden was for and why certain plants and colours were choosen. Such a beautiful idea x
After my visit I had lots of ideas we could focus on as subject matter for this piece. I did a few sketches but kept coming back to the memory garden and how beautiful it looked even from a distance and of course the whole concept behind it. The various shades of pinks and greens and the shapes within it was just really an inspiration. I started to focus more on this and sketched out some ideas for Sinéad to have a look at. It was something she never thought of and loved the idea.
The final idea below ...
When discussing the scale of the painting we thought it would be something different to divide the painting into four connecting pieces, a quadriptych. The garden and conversations I had with Sinéad were my inspiration, I did not want a direct copy of the garden. The garden itself was another piece of art in its own right. I took elements from the garden, the room and the house to create a type of illustrative collage. I wanted the painting to be a bright and positive piece to appreciate and that you could almost feel a sense of growth within the piece.
Each canvas piece measured 4x4" on a deep edge canvas painted using acrylics ...
A Beautiful simple wooden box frame that was framed by a local framer in Nenagh, John Maher, Summerhill ...
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guys,
If anyone is interested in commissioning a piece however big or small you can contact me through my website or pm me on my facebook page.
I am in the middle of designing some wedding invites and booklets at the moment. I won't be posting these designs yet but in the meantime I thought that I would share with you some of the pieces I have been commisioned to create as wedding gifts.
First up is a fantastic venue that I had the pleasure to draw, Belfast Castle Cat Garden!!! To give you a little background as to how this came about ... I was contacted by Siobhán, a lady I had never met but who had received one of my drawings as a wedding gift!!! (I was commissioned to draw the church she got married in ....That's another blog post !! She told me that she loved this unique idea of giving a piece of art as a wedding present especially when it has a personal touch and inparticular loved the idea of the venue or some part of the wedding being created into a work of art that can be hung on their wall for years to come.
Siobhán explained to me that she had not yet given her brother and sister-in-law a wedding present and just did not know what to get them. She loved the drawing herself and her husband received that she had the idea to try and get intouch with me to see if I could re-create their wedding venue into a piece of art. She wasn't sure whether a drawing or painting would be more appropriate and so looked to me for advice and see what I thought.
After several chats with Siobhán we decided on the idea of pencil and colour pencil after showing her some of my work. This is a style I have done before. It is quite a nice idea if you want a certain area within the drawing to accentuate. Once size and details were arranged I got on with the brief ...
Some close up detail of the overall drawing ...
The pencils and coloured pencils I use are artist's quality meaning that the pigment or colour would be alot brighter than your ordinary pencils. Some coloured pencils I use have the benefit of overlaying one colour on top of another without loosing its vibrancy...
I also use good quality artist drawing paper. I like to work on a smooth surface that is quite heavy in weight. Papers have different weights and the heavier or thicker the paper is allows for more medium (what you are using;pencils,paint etc ..) to be applied to its surface...
Below is the image I worked from ...
The final drawing mounted and ready to be framed ...
And a little note of thanks x This always means so much ...
Thank you so much for reading,
Janey xXx ...
A Christening Gift For Tyrion
'Once size, layout, design, colour and frame were decided on I was able to then begin the real deal!! I had actually forgotten how much I love to draw typography and make it unique so this was a most enjoyable commission to create! To create this piece pencil and designer's gouache (a type of paint) were used to paint it.
The finished piece ...
Thank you for taking the time to read this,
Janey xXx ...
About My Blog
Welcome to my blog. Here, I will be mainly chatting about my work and the work of other artists, designers, creators, photographers .... anything that interests me basically!! I'm always getting asked about the commissions I do and how I go about creating them. I intend to also use this blog as a platform to write and discuss this process from start to finish to give you an idea.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I hope you enjoy my website
Art and creativity is in my heart! Always dreaming ...