Commission Portrait for Russell Osman

I’m thrilled to have my first portrait commission and slightly nervous as it is for celebrity Russell Osman (his Instagram is @russosman) – he acted in the film Escape to Victory, Indian Super league football expert, TV Co-commentator, former footballer for England etc.

My art studio is a bit cold in winter so I curled up in home by the fire. On a 50” x 35” canvas I decided combine the past with the present and go with an Escape to Victory background and shirt but paint Russell Osman how he is now. The 1981 film was based on a football game between an Allied team and a Nazi German team during the Second World War. Pencil drawing then sketching the basic idea in watercolours because the chemical pigments of the translucent and opaque paints misbehave on the canvas creating unintended colour combinations. Then I dived in with the oil paints to cover the entire painting which will take a month or two to dry. Another first for me is painting the flesh in oil paints, being so used to watercolours it’s like trying to paint with butter. Speaking of butter I absolutely melted with relief when Russell said it was wonderful and was happy for me to display it for you to view it too :-)

Painting fluffy animals since 2011, this past six months practising portraits has been a joy and this one commission has made it all the more worthwhile.