Standing on the shoulders of giants
I've enjoyed painting for over 35 years and, in that time, I've been able to develop my technique based on the great masters of oil painting. Masters, including Jan van Eyck who developed the technique of using coloured glazes over an monochromatic underpainting, have had a great influence on the way I use oil paint today. The process is a long one, requiring up to 20 glazes to be added to each painting with each glaze needing 12hrs to dry before the next can be applied. However, this all adds to the final effect, the colours glow and have a richness that is not achieved in any other way. My art has been exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London, for notable societies including Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Royal Society of British Artists.
Choosing your photo
To get the best possible result, your photos need to be clear and in focus. Choose an image that shows off the manorism of your pet best, or one that has them in a place that they love and will always be remembered for. If you have several pictures that show different characteristics, send them all through and I can advice on what will work best in your painting. If you are thinking of taking a photo specifically as a reference for a portrait, avoid a flash and use natural light. Whether this is a well lit room or outside space, it's best to also avoid strong directional light, as this will cast dark shadows that will hide important detail. For a better composition, use photos that show your pet slightly askew, not looking straight into the camera. In addition, get in as close to your pet as possible to avoid uneccessary background.
Stars in their eyes
I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to paint portraits of three adhorable Jack Russells owned by antiques expert Tim Wonnacott. Tim, who features on well known BBC TV shows including Antiques Roadshow and Bargain Hunt, commented his painting:
“...I have no hesitation in recommending Rob Tyrrell as a pet portrait painter. From a very ordinary amateur lined-up photograph of our three Jack Russell terriers, Grandmother Midge, Mother Lottie and Granddaughter Coco, he has created not only a lasting work of art in oils on canvas but brought a great source of amusement and pleasure into our family because they look so sweet. Well done!”