I have been accepting Commissions of Fine Art Portraits in oils for many years and In 2013 I won the Williamsburg Art Painting Prize for a portrait of a labrador.

A Portrait of Andrew Walworth
Part of a conversation with the artist written by Sophy Buckley

“Working on people or people’s pets brings one into direct emotional territory. The paint surface is all and the intellectual arguments of conceptual portraiture cannot convey the same integrity. A technical exercise would be a parody so I am after a mix of gesture and realism – a mixture of experimentation and stricture but in a loose style. I think this style best suits this kind of portrait as it evokes life and nature and is not frozenly descriptive,” he says.
His working style is to upload photographs onto his Apple Mac and move between photo to canvas to get the likeness. Andrew usesshadow to create the form and volume with tonal values to delineate the spaces between the strongest light and the darkest shadows. Andrew explains his focus was on reading the light and shade. “Or to put it another way, it was down to my imagination,” he laughs. 
His philosophy is to describe not prescribe – to intuit the personality as well as observe the look. “This is an animal and moves around a lot so somehow the portrait must show that. How to achieve that is the question. I was after a visual representation that satisfied me and her owner. It had to have energy – all the brush strokes had to have a purpose. The content comes first and the process second rather than the process being the subject. After all what is the object of the painting? To immortalise, or create something recognisably her which has more to it than immediately meets the eye? Something in the process that stimulates a different remembrance?” he asks. 
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