‘I have not been forgiven for that Sir, would you like a pencil or water colour as I don’t have oils or canvas with me’.
‘There’s no problem, there is an art studio somewhere Paula will show you while I dress.’
Paula took me up three flights of heavily carpeted stairs into a spacious room set in one of the turrets of the Hall the views were really stunning. Three types of easels standing around and a choice of several canvases, one particular one took Peters attention, ‘I hope I can use this one it is velum not canvas and this has some age to it. Those paints are the best quality, now where are the paint brushes?
‘They are in the three drawers under the north window with paint thinners and other mixing mediums.’ There are a number of backgrounds stored in that rack some for standing some for sitting. Pick out one of each!’
‘It will depend on the colour of his robes, as the portrait will take longer I would like to have him seated. Is there any foot lighters?
‘In the cupboard on the right, this would be a great photographic studio you should see my father’s studio back at home, it has blackout blinds as well as black drapes.
I hope I have the chance I am very interested in photography Peter said.
There was a sharp intake of breath when Sir Damien entered the study, the robes were magnificent trimmed with ermine complete with chains of office and medals.
‘Paula the chair you sat in last night could you arrange to have it brought up here and arrange lunch for one fifteen and also coffee about eleven Am please.’ Peter was now in his artist mode. By the time the chair arrived Peter had selected the background and placed it in position and selected the colours for the palate matching the colour of the various garments and hair, will you move that plinth over there and place the chair on it please? When everything was to his liking he dismissed the servants. ‘I would like you to take a seat Sir;’ stepping back to examine the results removing a small draw and placing it under the right foot to raise it to a different level perfect.
In walked Paula with a tray of coffee placed it on a table, ‘Do you want a sip of coffee through a straw so as not to alter your facial expression.’
‘I don’t need to set the expression until later, a drink then I will finalize the setting of the robes.
Switching on the two lights then moving them until the lighting was perfect adjusting the robes folds including the folds of the arms.
The large brush seemed to dance over the velum painting fabulous swags above and behind the chair shadows emphasizing the swags. It had taken just over five minutes then the ermine trim with two dark spots on each side inside edges of a coat underneath the robe and a black bow-tie. Peter used new brushes to paint the arms and body of the cloak a bright red adding darker red shading to create the folds.
The face and hands he painted a flesh colour and then the black highly polished ceremonial boots. The white sash edges cut cleanly across the red and then the badges of office and finally three rows of distinctive medals. ‘We will have a drink of coffee then paint the hands and finally set the facial expression.’