Here’s a glimpse into how one of my commissions goes from subject photo to final painting and all the steps in-between.
First, I look at a series of subject reference photos. Here’s one of the reference photos I used:
The customers wanted a spring scene, so I plan to include cherry blossoms and a little bit of snow on the mountains. Other symbolic elements to include wI’ll be a soccer ball, running shoes, hummingbirds, a bike, the Lions, and the pink dogwood tree.
Sometimes I will do a thumbnail sketch, which is a small color painting, like this one:
Here is the relative size of the thumbnail to the canvas I am going to paint on.
I typically do a “grisaille” which is a tonal underpainting. Most of the time I leave the sky blank because I like to improvise on the real canvas so the sky here is a digital edit.
After that, it’s all about coloring it in! I usually work top to bottom, back to front.
Once the color work is done, I’m ready to send the first proof.
After a few minor tweaks and tuning… TA DA!
And here is the lovely painting hanging in their home.