• Olly Jordan

Chapter 97 - Commission - #PortraitsForNHSHeroes - Lynsey and Adam - 2020

Lynsey - A3 on 300gsm Watercolour Paper

Adam - A3 on 300gsm Watercolour Paper

As part of a way to give something back to the modern day heroes working to look after us during the covid-19 pandemic, artist Tom Croft came up with the idea that artist's could offer a FREE portrait to any NHS key worker, the portrait would be a small gesture in comparison to the heroic work of these key workers and would also be a nice way to memorialise the pandemic and get something good from it all at the ends.

I thought that this was a great idea and I wanted to get amongst it. Tom Croft's idea took over instagram and all of a sudden so many artists were offering their time to create something good and meaningful for these heroes. To get involved all you had to do was post a green canvas on instagram to say that you are offering a free portrait to a NHS key worker that gets in contact, then once you have been matched up, post a red one to say that you have been picked but keep looking for other artists, as you can see below. I posted the green canvas and really was surprised at how quickly so many people got in touch, I received over 5 messages within 30 minutes of posting! The first person who messaged me was an Operating Department Practitioner from Birmingham named Lynsey, so she was the one that I worked with. I felt bad by having to turn down the other key workers, but I was going to do one free one and then see how I felt afterwards and time-wise about maybe doing more.

Lynsey and I chatted for a little bit on instagram, then I asked for some high quality reference photos, then that was about it, I started the portrait and sent photos of the finished thing before I posted it out to her. Lynsey loved it so much that when the finished portrait arrived to her, she wanted a matching portrait of her partner Adam, she was willing to pay full price before even knowing my usual prices! I said that we could meet in the middle and I could do one for half price, but she insisted and paid full price for the second portrait which was very kind. The portrait of Adam was just as good to work with as Lynsey's because they both sent me such high quality photos with good natural lighting, those are the main things I need in order to make a good painting really. Lynsey and Adam loved their portraits and art hoping to get them framed up around Christmas time when hopefully the pandemic has eased up and they have more time to focus on themselves, I have kept in contact with Lynsey and Adam over instagram and check in every now and then to see how work is going.

Both the portraits were A3 in size, so a little smaller than my usual portraits, but I thought that this could be a good opportunity to experiment with getting used to working a a bit smaller. I was pleasantly surprised at how much detail I managed to get into the two A3 portraits seeing as they are more than half the size of my usual work, they only took a matter of 4 days to complete, rather than a week or two like my usual ones, so this help like a really quick turn around with an equally as good a result. I think that I will consider working at A3 size alot more because I can still get a good level of detail in and it looks just as good as the large scale portraits.

Tom Croft's #portraitsfornhsheroes is currently in process of creating an online gallery exhibition so the artists who have worked with the modern day heroes can all be featured together and we can see just how many heroes in the NHS. Being featured online alongside other artists could be a good way to get more exposure than I would usually get from my instagram feed or facebook, which is the two placed I post about my work really, so this could potentially be something good for me in the future as it is reaching beyond my usual audience. There maybe another blog post later on down the line about how the online gallery exhibition has gone if I do manage to get featured, so stay tuned I guess.

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