Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting Started on a new commission

Just wanted to make a post to the blog to update everyone on what's happening. Mainly just wanted to talk about the process that many artists go through when doing a commissioned painting and take you through the early stages. I hope this will help many of you if ever faced with the same issues.

I recently had a request from a decorator to produce a painting (yes to match the living room couch) of a Tuscan style landscape. I don't often get commissions like this where someone has something so specific in mind, but welcomed the challenge of seeing what I could do with the assignment.

The first and hardest part of the project was the 2 weeks of phone calls and emails working out the details and getting the basic information together to quote the job and work out the terms. That ended well, meaning the client agreed to the terms of payment, and specs of the painting.
Basicly a 1/3rd deposit, 1/3rd COD and 1/3rd net 30 arrangement was agreed to by all parties
with ownership of the work not transferred until final payment is received. I've found this arrangement to be best in my experience due to the fact that it keeps all parties involved in the process and gives everyone time to give feedback at critical points in the development of the painting.

The 2nd step was to produce a color study (comp) of the art. I chose to use photoshop to produce a color sketch because it was easily produced, emailed and modified if need be.
This is a great help for everyone because they could visually see what the painting was going to be like. This is a common practice for illustrators and commercial artists and I find it helpful
with every assignment I produce. In the long run, the time I take producing the comp and working out any changes at this stage, saves me many hours of frustration and valuable time as the assignment develops. Once approved by the decorator and client I am free to proceed in producing the final painting.

The size of this piece is 68" X 30" which I stretched on heavy duty stretcher bars. I bought a primed fine weave cotton duct canvas material for the paint surface. Shown in the photo below is the initial layout of the painting. I've just concerned myself with the large blocks of values, movement and proportions of the various areas of the painting. This will give me a solid base to begin blocking in the large masses of shapes in the work. For now this is where I'll stop until I begin the block in of the color. At that time I'll make the next post showing the color being laid in.

Till then, Keep well, productive and Happy Painting.

If you should have any questions about the process till this stage please contact me.

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