The process of commissioning a painting is somewhat of a mystery to most people. It’s seems like this big fancy ordeal that will cost a fortune and take a lot of effort. But for me, it’s the most exciting and interesting way to create my work! I absolutely love the process. The best part for me is thinking of the person who I am painting for and using them as inspiration for my work. Knowing my client’s creative style, home décor or personality is also really helpful in getting the ideas flowing.
So when one of my best friends sent me this photo of her new drapes and asked for a piece to compliment them, my brain went into overdrive!
I immediately think classic, romantic, charming, sweet, summery and naturally beautiful. Just like my friend :) And I know that one of her favorite pieces of mine is A Romantic Hippie. So I get to work on an idea that will really bring all of this together. Luckily, I had an open timeline for this one…but I’d normally estimate around 4 weeks to complete a piece.
After mixing up some colors, I first start with composition, some sketching and base layers of paint .
Then I sketch some more and add more base colors. It’s looking pretty terrible at this point….so I work quickly to add shading, highlights and depth. It helps instantly!
At this point I normally take a big step back. I take photos of the piece so I can assess the color balance and composition from a distance. (This is a great tip for anyone working on a painting of their own. Even snapping a quick picture on your phone will give you distance and perspective on the piece as a whole!)
We’re getting there. I like how it’s looking, but think it needs to be richer. More balanced, with maybe some deep pine green in there. I mix some more, add leaves and stems and then blend and blend and BLEND!
Finally, I finish the edges so a frame isn’t necessary and make myself a cup of tea. Time to let it live. I hang the piece on my wall for a day or so to make sure I’m happy with everything I’ve done. Sometimes this perspective is all I need to really fall in love with it. Other times, I notice things I want to change or add…
This time… I love it. I take a photo and send it to my friend for her opinion. Please be honest, I say. Do you want more greens, more golds, add some bright purple? It’s up to you! But happily, she loves it! And the only thing left to do is sign the piece and ship it over to Indianapolis, IN!
Meet A Secret Garden…