Gary and Oliver – Father and Son portrait

One of my friends, Mary Redshaw, has commissioned a great many illustrations from me, but this time it was her niece, Laura Stewart, who approached me to do an illustration for her husband as a Father’s Day gift. Gary and Laura became proud parents of Oliver last year and this picture shows the pride that Gary has in his wonderful son.

GaryandOliver by Michael Quinlyn-Nixonforblog(mono)

I have done numerous portraits in my time, but very few, if any, has given me as much joy to do as this one. I think the fascination for me is that the image has captured a special moment, as Oliver goes to greet his father who has lifted him up. The joy on Oliver’s face and his cute smile were wonderful to create.

As the photograph I was given to work from was black-and-white or mono, the best medium to use, for me, was graphite pencils. I chose a harder pencil, primarily 2H, as I didn’t want any part of the picture to be too dark or black. The picture is tender and emotional and I felt the pencils used to create this should reflect that. So, all the B pencils were banned from this commission!

GaryandOliver(sepia)by Michael Quinlyn-Nixon for blog  Thank you, Laura, for allowing me to the share this special moment and to produce it in illustration form. I am very pleased to hear that Gary appreciated his Father’s Day gift and I hope Oliver was suitably impressed with it too 🙂 

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Christmas Craft Creations

Since starting to teach again last September, I have been busy.  Along with my 12-year-old niece we have been busy trying out craft creations, such as greeting cards and pen tidy pots and things like that, that can be used for practical exercises in the class…

I sketched some pictures on to a sheet of A3 paper (robin, snowman, reindeer etc) to create some templates to make greeting cards and then pasted them on to cardboard to cut them out, so we could draw around them on coloured paper and create the cards.  We had a great time and many hours passed before we stopped.  I don’t always get the time to ‘test’ things out before my students have a go, but on this occasion it was most beneficial, as it gave me the opportunity to work out what degree of difficulty was involved in making each card.  Believe it or not, the Santa Claus was the most difficult.  The reindeer was very popular, but my personal favourite was the penguin, but that’s because I love penguins.

We also had a lovely time creating a series of pen tidy pots, that were covered in felt and decorated with felt and cardboard pieces to create reindeers, penguins and snowmen.  Most of these were sold at my students’ Christmas craft fair, so that was a good enterprise scheme.  We had used coffee cylinders and crisp tubes, so apart from the felt and some glue and a few hours spent doing craft, it was rather a cost effective and enjoyable exercise…

Penguin handmade Christmas card Robin handmade card

Penguin pen tidys Reindeer card and reindeer pen tidy

To all of you that read my blog (and there are some that do it…frequently), I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and every best wish for the forthcoming year.  I hope 2016 is a good one for us all! x