Hey, guess what?! No, not that... That's disgusting. No, I now do vouchers! I don't know why I didn't think of this years ago, really, but if you've ever really wanted to commission a piece of artwork as a birthday, Christmas or wedding present, but haven't been too sure what the recipient would like, or you're not sure there's enough time, I have the solution! Art gift vouchers.
Sample Art Gift Voucher
So, if you want to gift a friend or family member some fully bespoke artwork, a pet portrait or human portrait, but aren't sure which photo to use, let the recipient choose!
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that recently my art website has undergone a bit of a makeover. I've taken the opportunity to fix some strange quirks that had developed over the years (mostly things only I was aware of that no one else was remotely bothered by) and to give it a fresh lick of paint and a tidy up. Everything is a nice and white now, rather than black.
On top of that, (what's got better eyesight than an eagle?.. Erm...) Red-Tailed Hawk-eyed readers may also have spotted that I've removed the photo gallery from my art website...
The reason being, I’m delighted to announce the launch of my new wedding and events photography website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. Out with the old website and in with a new, fresh, clean, colourful one (- nothing borrowed or blue yet, other than the flowers in my photo gallery).
Visit www.lukebennettphotos.com for more details of my wedding and events photography services, where I provide beautiful, candid, colourful wedding photography in the photojournalist style.
If you're interested in booking me as your wedding or events photographer, I'm based in Solihull and cover all of the surrounding areas - Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the West Midlands and beyond. Please visit my site for more information and to make contact, I'll be very happy to hear from you and talk to you about your wedding photography requirements!
As well as updating my new website with ongoing content, I plan on maintaining an active presence on social media too, with regular updates on what I'm doing, where I'm doing it and how I'm doing it, and of course lots of my photography - both professional and personal.
So please, visit Luke Bennett Photography to see plenty of my wedding photography as well as some of my own personal work.
Don't forget to follow me on social media, too, at all the usual places! -
Once again, this blog has been neglected. This probably goes without saying by now as with every new post it's been a while since the last. It's not that I haven't been painting or taking commissions... It's more that a lot of my time and attention goes into making sure my customers are happy with their paintings, rather than into marketing myself online.
Phew, got out of that one. Anyway, I'm sorry Blog, I never meant to hurt you so.
Above is a recent pet portrait commissioned by a customer from Solihull. It depicts their family pet dog and was gratefully received by the commissioner and their family member who received it as a surprise gift.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The photo supplied was very clear and high resolution, which meant I was able to put in a lot of detail and get a very good likeness, without having to guess, or to make assumptions about how the subject actually looks in real life! You may laugh, but I get asked to do portraits from some, shall we say, GODAWFUL photographs that are not in any way representative of the subject. You know who you are... ;)
If you would like to commission a pet portrait, or a human portrait for that matter, please visit my website - www.artbylukebennett.com.
Keen-eyed followers may notice that the website has received a bit of an overhaul, a fresh lick of paint as it were. I've spent a couple of days tidying things up, out with the old black and gold layout and in with a fresher, cleaner look. I like it, I hope you will too!
Hi there Loyal Reader! How have you been? Good? Oh, really? That's crazy... Please tell me more about that thing that you just said. We have so much to talk about. Would you like a cup of tea?
And with that catch up out of the way I think we can carry on, like before. I promise never to leave you again.
In the last few months I've been mostly painting men and dogs, separately:
The above painting was commissioned as a birthday present for the soldier featured by his wife. She was kind enough to provide some of the nicest feedback I've had in a while:
I wanted to say a very big thank you for the painting. It's really an amazing and stunning piece of work. My husband really liked it! There's been so many positive comments, and we've had friends and family saying how alike the painting is to the picture and mandeep himself! One friend had such positive comments about the shading and facial tones.
My family have also been very impressed with your work, and it seems that they might also request a painting in the near future. I'll let you know when they decide.
Thank you for all your work, and I just wanted to share the wonderful comments that your work has received.
I recently was asked to produce a painting as a wedding gift. The painting was commissioned by the brother of the groom who, in his own words, could not get excited by the standard items on the wedding gift list. So, although his gift was a little late for the wedding itself, it was hopefully one of the more original presents that the bride and groom received.
The painting was based on one of the wedding photographer's photos. The original photo had more going on in the background, with guests excitedly watching the couple's first dance. However, I thought it would make for a nicer painting if the only focus was the newly married couple - as if they were the only people in the world for that one special moment.
Consequently, I kept things simple and went for a black background with the spotlight on the couple's warm embrace.
This recent pencil portrait was commissioned by a friend of the couple's children to celebrate their wedding day. Also as a loving tribute to the groom, who sadly was terminally ill at the time of the wedding. As such, it was quite an emotional piece to be involved in and I felt a weight of responsibility to do the photo and occasion justice.
What I hope comes through is the happiness and affection from the day caught in the original photograph.
Anyone familiar with Father Ted will be well aware of the song I had stuck in my head for a significant part of this painting...
Whilst, not being my horse, this was my first horse painting. That I can remember... I may well have painted a horse as a child in a very rudimentary fashion, given my love of cowboy films at a young age, but this has been my first horse painting as an adult. It's certainly my first pet portrait commission to feature three different animals in one scene. And a landscape.
For those reasons, it has in some ways been one of my most challenging commissions so far, and the most rewarding.
My customer wanted to surprise their loved one with a special birthday present featuring all three pets. However, there were no usable photos with all three animals in the one shot. I had to use a little artistic license therefore to produce a composite image. This license continued with the landscape, which I felt might look quite cool with a more stylistic interpretation.
Horse and dogs portrait
Pet Portraits by Luke Bennett
I really enjoyed creating this piece, particularly painting the horse, as it was pretty new to me. I applied a fairly heavy gloss at the end as it seemed to suit the scene.
I received some genuinely lovely feedback too. As always, if you want to commission your own portrait - pet, human or otherwise - please do not hesitate to visit artbylukebennett.com and get in touch!
This pencil portrait was commissioned recently as an 80th birthday present. It shows the birthday boy back in the 50s, looking a little bit like a member of the Corleone family*. I really like the end result, the image is quite striking and very evocative of the time.
Whilst the reference photo was a strong one in terms of look and character, the size of the image made the sketch a little more challenging, as there was not a huge amount of detail to work with. This meant that I had to use a lot of artistic license in order to make up for the lack of visual fidelity.
If you want to make me an offer I can't refuse, please get in touch via my website, www.artbylukebennett.com where you can view more original artwork or commission a portrait.
*I'm certain the resemblance is purely superficial.
It's been a while since I've posted, but not for lack of arty output. I've kept my evenings busy for the last few months doing various commissions. One of my recent favourites is this acrylic on canvas puppy portrait of Coda, a cute little German Shepherd. I say 'little'... She's actually huge now, but just as cute.
The portrait painting was commissioned as a surprise gift from one of Coda's owners to the other.
I enjoyed this painting as I had free reign to make it as 'painty' as I wanted, so I happily slapped on the paint thickly and loosely. The result is a painting that looks different from every angle with the gloss reflecting boldly in the light off the highly textured surface.
Above is a recently completed pencil portrait. It proved relatively challenging as the photo that I was using for reference was very small, blurry and lacked detail. Normally I'd avoid doing artwork from photos of a certain size or image quality, but sometimes as an artist you don't have the luxury of choice.