Monday, March 29, 2021

The Beginnings of a Commissioned Piece

 A few months ago I was approached online with a commission request. A possible client wanted me to paint her parents 'past' and present pets in ONE painting.  I thought, 'cool, I can do a few in a painting' - great challenge.  Lo and behold, it is 7 animals.  SEVEN...seven!  4 dogs and 3 cats.  OK.  I can do this.  Other life happenings have been filling the void..have had the photos of these pets for a couple of months.

AND..other commission work, matting and framing for a show, family issues, ME taking care of the homestead for the winter have taken precedent - not excuses - but many artists who work at home, will tell you LIFE gets in the way, very often.  

Yesterday I plowed through.  After working most of the day - my first sketch of the composition was completed.  Honestly, I was thinking - where do I start?  What have I done?  Questioning myself if I could do this and why did I take it on?  

I have to give some of the credit to the many places online that I get my 'nudging'.  I do these tasks daily - I listen to Danny Gregory's Podcasts, watch Ali Cavanaugh paint beautiful watercolors on Patreon, listen and watch Kim Casebeer and Kami Mendlik paint on Instagram - I get a world of encouragement just by watching and listening to others. (It's like that instrumental crescendo in "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles is playing all the while - in my head.)   

AND finally - there - voila - STEP ONE - completed (charcoal on newsprint).  Now I can go forward with getting the plan down on canvas and begin painting.  Only in one case, do I see any of these lovies side by side for comparative SIZE reference.  The client supplied me with who is the biggest and suggestions from there, that there is a three legged pooch that she wants shown (black and tan, up front). Most have passed, so the photos that she has, are the photos I will use.  Some photos show what I need, some do not..I have to make it up a little with research and artistic license - scary to say the least.  I am making the cats larger than they should be, but putting much smaller cats with dogs - bugs me.  Watercolor was my first choice on Aquabord but substrate choice of a bigger size calls for acrylic on stretched/cradled edge canvas.  It will be 20" x 30".  Sometimes DOING art seems so hard.  Why?  I hang a sign over my easel and refer to it so much these days..."It's Supposed to be Fun".  And IT IS, once I get past the 'heebie jeebies' of that first step.  If I can DO this one - I will have proved to myself, I can do anything.



 Quick photo, bad lighting


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