Olly & Toby

Olly and Toby proved an interesting challenge. Toby is sadly no longer with us while Olly is Toby’s successor. Their owners, Jim and Maureen, commissioned me to paint them both in the more contemporary style. I expected Toby to be the most challenging, as I was limited to surviving reference of the little chap. Nevertheless, there was quite a lot as Toby was much loved. Surprisingly, it was Olly’s portrait that initially caused most concern. However, after some tweaking, I was ready to deliver the finished works. Unfortunately, when Jim and Maureen saw both portraits in the flesh, it was apparent that Toby was not quite right.

From my point of view, it is wonderful that with the advances of modern, digital technology, I am able to send images to customers in advance of delivery - particularly when the customer lives many miles away. (Jim and Maureen live in South Queensferry, just north of Edinburgh). The down-side is that a low res digital image cannot always convey all of the subtle nuances of a finished portrait, and so it proved.

After much deliberation and some serious tweaking over the following four months - which involved painting out Toby’s tongue and some subtle changes to the eyes - I was finally able to deliver Toby’s finished portrait to Jim and Maureen’s complete satisfaction.

It is paramount to me that any portrait I undertake equals, or indeed exceeds, my customers expectations and, as such, I will keep working on a piece until they are totally happy.