House Commission WIP

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.


Adding in some big blocks of color. 5_East9th_710_colorblocking

Adding in a bit of detail. 6_East9th_710_morecolors

Once the color work is done, I’m ready to send the first proof.


After a few minor tweaks and tuning… TA DA!

Short House


And here is the lovely painting hanging in their home.