Revealed at last! Jonny’s portrait commission

A few weeks ago I was asked to do a portrait commission for someone (my mate Jonny) who wanted to surprise everyone when the painting was finished, with a grand unveiling ceremony. At home, Jonny’s got amazing leopard print wall paper, and a spare velvet curtain, which would have displayed the painting to great effect during the ceremony. He really wanted to wallow in the kitsch grandeur of a cocktail evening, with a dramatic curtain swish, revealing his portrait (like when the queen opens a new hospital wing, and everyone applauds the commemorative plaque).

Jonny, it turned out, was too busy to sort out his party and so he ended up telling everyone about the painting via Facebook, which was still good, he got a lot of compliments; although I would have loved to go to a party! 

So now the painting’s gone public, I am allowed to post it here on my blog. Yay! 

It was loads of fun doing Jonny’s portrait, as he has a great sense of humour and appreciates bright colours, rainbows, glitter and daft stuff. So his portrait features some of his fave childhood icons, Orville (the 80’s green fluffy duck puppet) and an Ewok. Plus there is a fantasy mountain landscape, which is a nod to kitsch art and pomposity. (Jonny thought it tremendously egotistical to commission a painting of himself!). For added fun there are abstract shapes, and glitter. 

It was important to Jonny to have his tattoos portrayed accurately, as they are artworks in themselves, so he wore a sleepless t shirt to show them off. He wore his trademark Black Lace (with Black Flag logo) hat, and we decided that a serious ‘taking care of business’ expression would be most appropriate.

Portrait of Jonny, 2015. Acrylic and glitter on canvas, private commission, by Helen Dryden.

If you would like to commission a portrait of your self or a loved one, or even your cat, get in touch!


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