Rua’s portrait was such an interesting painting I got to complete back in January. It was a wide landscape format in 30 x 60 cm size and I used acrylics on stretched canvas.
Rua passed away sadly in autumn 2019 and the client, Rua’s owner wanted to commission a portrait of her as a keepsake. She was very special to him and his family.
He described her in an email to me when he initially enquired about commissioning her portrait:
Rua was incredibly loyal, very independent, protective of our family, an absolute lady, a great judge of character, loved fun and a cuddle too.Henry, county Kerry, Ireland
He was very keen on including the seascape behind Rua and the photos he emailed me were beautiful. I suggested removing the bench from the background and to include the island with the lighthouse. The spot where Rua is sitting is where she would often wait for my client’s mother to come off a ferry coming home from work.
The client was just thrilled with the finished painting:
Good morning Ivana! Thanks for your email. I am truly delighted with the painting and cannot wait to see it in real life. I believe that you truly captured her personality and I am greatly indebted to you for that. My parents and I miss her every single day, and I think your painting will be placed in the most prominent position in our house reflecting her position in our family and I have no doubt that my parents will be thrilled.Henry, county Kerry, Ireland
I thoroughly enjoyed painting Rua. I started with a sketch using yellow ochre. I find this to work very well as it is a light enough colour and adds a warm undertone to the painting.
Once I was happy that I captured Rua’s likeness and some of the background, I started blocking in basic colours.
The next step was working in layers of paint in the background and the main subject. I added a few more detail to Rua’s fur than the rest of the painting in order to bring her to focus. I took some photographs of the progress and of the finished painting in my studio.