Thames Barrier Wedding Commission


At the end of last year, I produced a commission which the client wanted as a gift for her friends. Instead of just drawing the couple, the client wanted the Thames barrier in the background, as this was where the proposal took place.

It’s sometimes challenging for event photographers to take the perfect ‘shot’ especially when weather or light conditions are not suitable, but not so much for illustration. First I draw several sketches of poses to find the best one. Once the client approves, I start to put in the details.


I then start inking, once the details are complete. I take pictures of the pencil sketches so that when colouring the piece later on, I can render the shading digitally from the correct light source.

Stages of inking

Stages of inking

frgrd tro be scleam2

Final line work for the foreground

Once the inking is complete, I found some pictures of the Thames Barrier and work on the background compositions.

Too much detail in the background takes attention away from the foreground, so it has to be thoughtfully positioned.

This is why I draw the background separately from the foreground so that I can reposition it as necessary. Once I have completed all the line work, or ‘elements’, let the colouring begin!

Thames Barrier line work.

Thames Barrier line work.

Again, when colouring the background, I could go for super realistic textures and tones, but that is not the requirement of this piece. If the background were rendered too detailed, it would again take attention way from the main subject of the piece which is the couple. Therefore, I keep the colouring simple including the reflections of the Thames Barrier in the water.

Final colouring for Thames Barrier

Final colouring for Thames Barrier

After colouring the foreground, I overlap the layers to complete the piece. As my art style is simple, I spend more time thinking about what to leave out. Overall the couple were very happy when they received it:

The clients were happy with my work!

The clients were happy with my work!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s