Watercolour ‘wildwood’ wedding! (Yeah, try saying that after the speeches…)

The last couple of weeks have amounted to something of a maelstrom of activity, incorporating the completion of several small, private commissions, a masterclass in dummy-book creation orchestrated by the always-brilliant British SCBWI, a Mummy Pollard visitation, a trip to Lowry at The Tate, umpteen birthday/other celebratory evenings ‘out’, and only the merest soupçon of packing (i.e. an assortment of lists has been drawn up, but not so much as a paintbrush has yet actually been packed…) for Cambridge and the Anglia Ruskin MA in Children’s Book Illustration Adventure. As such, the execution of casual doodlings and potential fodder for Illustration Friday submission has been rather scarce, so – with kind permission from the commissioner – I thought I’d share the most recent wedding portrait to have wafted out of the IllustratedbyAmanda studios, on a bluebell, peony and orange-blossom-fragranced summery-wedding breeze, in an effort to counteract the encroaching dank and gloom of (premature, I’d contend) autumn:


The brief was for a flatteringly (i.e. quite minimally) caricatured portrait, with the emphasis firmly on eschewing the ‘cheesy’ and saccharine in favour of something a little more light-hearted – and, if possible, featuring an apparently omnipresent black retriever… Conducted beneath the glowing canopy of an English woodland setting, and framed by a beautifully wildflower-woven greenwood arch against a carpet of bluebells, this must be one of the most idyllic non-church wedding ceremonies imaginable. (And the newlyweds looked so deliriously happy in every single one of the reference photos supplied, that I suspect I was grinning inanely throughout the entire duration of this commission…!). I’ve included a few progress pictures, below, to show how the initial pencil sketch translated, via my trusty lightbox, to final line drawing (rather feint, I’m afraid), with an alteration to render the rather odd-looking dog in the initial drawing a little more convincingly – it amused me no end that I was taking such time considering how best to draw in a ‘photobombing’ retriever (especially one that didn’t actually appear in any of the photos from the day that I’d received, despite what I’d heard about his capacity to intrude on almost every other moment!)


Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to include any of the actual photographs (without being able to seek the subjects’ express permission, to post the same online would have been, at best, rather unfair…) to demonstrate the likeness, but the commissioner assured me that she was able to recognise them both from the final artwork! 😉

I really enjoyed creating this piece, particularly the soft-focus effect bluebell wood in the background, the mischievous photobombing dog, and the challenge of representing the beautiful gossamer-fine material at the sleeves and neckline of the bride’s dress. More weddings, please!! 🙂

‘Til next time, hope you all have a fab week AP x

About illustratedbyamanda

Illustrator and time-fritterer extraordinaire
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