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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Amazon and Polo...

Christmas commissions are in the making, all a little hush hush until the merry day is passed. Needless to say, the studio has been swamped with loud music, empty coffee mugs, pencil shavings and lights burning well into the night.
While all this was on the go great news reached my inbox...

"Holding On" has been chosen to appear in the upcoming Polo Players Edition more specifically in the "Making History" article featuring a quarter century of Polo and equestrian art.
Chuffed to bits, the way I am every time a graphite piece makes it alongside the strong contenders that are oil and acrylic...

Last spring, I was approached by a ICA publishing. They were putting a book of contemporary artists together.
International Contemporary Artists Vol1 has been created showing the visions of 262 artists from 42 countries and is now available on Amazon.
It's a stunning book filled to the brim with talent and great works of art.
Once again, I am chuffed to little bits to see "Complicity" and "Hurricane" feature in such great company.

Between you and me, had to giggle at the notion of having been able to reach out with the tips of my pencils and touch two totally alien worlds: Amazon and Polo.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Florestan I A champion Sire writing history

Mention Florestan and you automatically mention: success, beauty, quality and ... history.
Florestan I is a German Warmblood (Rheinland) breading stallion with amazing statistics.

Since 1989, this Fidelio-Rheingold son has sired over 5000 mares (yep three 0's after the 5) which has resulted in the following historical statistics. (Actually, I have it from good authority that he is so successful that it is near impossible to count all of his offspring...)

55 registered sons in the Stallion registry
200 State premium mares in Germany alone.
Approximately 2000 show horses registered at the German National Equestrian Federation.
1.2 Million Euros life time earnings.

A bronze statue of Florestan I can also be found in Wickrath Germany

Knowing all this, you can now all fully understand the honour and the excitement I experienced last spring when I was given, not only a private photo-shoot with the star but also the request to draw a portrait of him. (A great big thank you to Andrea Stricker, his groom and rider, for her time.)

I went for something different.
I wanted to steer away from the classic head-shot.
I was looking to portray the cheeky, clever, smart and inventive horse that he his.

His professionalism was amazing.
Like a model, he enjoyed every moment spent in front of the camera and gave me pose after pose, spoiling me with workable material.

However, it wasn't until I caught him off guard that I knew I had my moment, my portrait.
A glimpse of the normal, ever inventive, young at heart champion sire.

This pose captures everything: his beauty, presence , charisma and character.
At 24 he's far from feeling or looking his age and has definitely mastered the art of holding on...

"Holding On"
Pencil on Paper. 29x40 cm

Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

Monday, 8 November 2010

"Grégoire ".

Pencil on Paper. 18x24 cm
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. 2010. All rights reserved.

Two weeks ago I was in Brussels delivering these golden curls and receiving a mother's seal of approval.
Child portraits are something so delicate and mesmerizing to create.
I was on tender hooks throughout the entire portrait.
Drawing the soft pure and innocent features of a child requires accuracy and very high concentration. Well, I felt that's what I wanted to give this gorgeous wee chap.
Gregoire (French for Gregory )has just turned two. He's a wee boy with bundles of energy and sunshine smiles. Being the youngest of three boys he is not into being left behind...
Emphisizing his sunny nature and energy were crucial to the success of this portrait.
Through this pose, a summer feeling of energy and fun was created and his surfer curls subtly emphasised. Having him look away from the viewer adds a certain sense of movement and his eagerness to "get on".
I was really chuffed with the way the portrait looked on delivery day.

Up on the drawing board and next in-line: two hairy - big eyed- four legged- wee hounds...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Big Ben new equine portrait finished

"Big Ben"
Graphite on Paper. 27x11 cm
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

Monday has turned into to Wednesday...late as usual!

Here is the promised updated and finished portrait of Big Ben.
The references I had to work from were, for various reasons, a little off.
This left loads of room for my imagination. I have used powder graphite to create the darker values. They limit the detail but give a lovely soft feeling.
Big Ben is just that: big. His features are are also a little larger than usual.
The frontal view was picked as it shortens his nose .
The result: all the attention goes to his large kind eyes.
Next step: the framers.