Friday, September 22, 2006

Another Commission Out the Door!

One of the things that has been stressing me out this summer is the completion of a few commissioned pieces. There's just something about the whole commission process that makes it more difficult than just painting what I want. After all, these are clients who know exactly what they want and go out of their way to request it rather than just buy something off of a gallery wall.

I outlined my process on the commissioned painting that was my biggest challenge here and here. Yesterday I shipped off another that was on the opposite end of the spectrum - no stress at all.

This particular client found my website back in January and contacted me then about my work, before I had any gallery representation. We kept in touch, and in July he asked me to do a larger version of a painting I had recently sold. The original painting was just a 9x12" study, shown here:

He commissioned me to do the same piece as an 18x24". That's about as simple as a commission gets - I still get to paint something that I was originally inspired to paint, and there's not as much stress about whether the client will like the finished product or not since he already has a good idea of what it will look like.

When I do a larger piece from a study, I like to change things up a bit so that the two pieces don't look like carbon copies. In this instance, going from 9x12" to 18x24" required that I enhance the composition a bit, especially in the foreground. In the larger version, I added a road/trail to the foreground to lead the eye into the painting, and pushed the colors a bit to enhance the mood of the piece. Here's the final commission:

It's essentially the same subject as the smaller study, but different enough that they can be considered two different paintings. After all, I wouldn't want to annoy the person who bought the study by doing another painting just like it!

Anyhow, this painting got shipped off yesterday. The client has seen pictures, but has never seen any of my paintings in person, so I'm hoping he's happy with the real thing.

As for the commissioned piece I posted about before, I just dropped it off with that client today at lunch. He was happy with it and I've got the check in hand. Now I'm back to painting things that I want to paint - nice!!


  1. Good job on the commisioned piece!
    Think you managed to keep the tension tree/sky in the bigger version and I like the changes (the sky f.ex.).

  2. I agree with Bart, lovely depth it got now. Also those yellow oker colors, they make my belly glow!!

    I wonder what palette you use?!

  3. Bart and Rene - thanks for the comments. I'm glad to hear that others think I was successful with the bigger piece.

    Rene - I typical use the following colors in my palette:
    - Titanium white
    - Cadmium yellow light
    - Cadmium orange
    - Alizarin crimson perm.
    - Burnt sienna
    - Ultramarine blue
    I like to keep it somewhat limited.

  4. Aaaah i see, somewhat limited (lol)
    The Cad. Orange does it i think. that makes my belly glow. Funny that you use it, because Burnt sienna is already quite redisch.Not to mention Alizarin Crimson. What do you think about burnt Umber? Lately i use Veridian a lot, have you ever used that?

  5. Rene - the ochres in the grasses of the painting were probably mostly from the sienna and cad yellow. I tend to use the orange and alizarin when I'm trying to make nice violets or grays. I use viridian occasionally - used to have it on my palette all the time, but found my greens getting a bit too bright/uniform, so I took it off. I usually only use it now if I'm trying to get just the right color of blue-green for a sky.