How I Begin a Commission
The creative, mental wheels start to turn the moment I receive a commission. I visualize what I might do with the request as far as composition of the painting, selecting the palette, working with the presentation.
If the subject is available, I spend time looking, observing and seeing its general and detailed appearance. My mind is filled with the subject. Eventually the sketch book comes out and my thoughts are transferred to paper in both general and detailed drawings. I also spend time researching the subject on line and in books and always learn new things about the subject, such as the fact that Bird of Paradise plants are poisonous. And I had just used a kitchen knife to cut off a flower for further study....
My current commission is for a 48" x 60" painting filled with Bird of Paradise and Hibiscus. These plants are growing in my yard, so it has been easy to spend time with them.
After the studies are done and the palette is selected I will usually paint a small version. For this painting I am working on a square canvas for the smaller painting, so even though the composition will be a bit different in the larger work, I have the opportunity to adjust my palette, present the idea behind the larger work to the client, and work with the overall design.
When the small painting is 'complete' I send photos to the client to obtain their approval and confirm we are both on the same page, so to speak. Today is the day the photo of this small painting goes off to the client. Check back here later in the week and I will let you know what transpires.
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