Tuesday, November 29, 2016

111216 S 40x42 Respite in the Forest in Autumn

This painting was commissioned by a couple in Lexington, Kentucky after they saw my work at the Woodlands Art Fair, first in 2015 and again in 2016.
They saw a painting they liked but wanted it to have a finished size of 48" h. x 50" w., including the frame.  I made notes on what they wanted in terms of the design, colors, size, frame, and any other special considerationsI worked up a quote for the finished painting including the frame and delivery/shipping fees.  Once they approved the project and paid a 50% down payment, I began work on the painting.

So I took the painting they liked and changed the proportions in Adobe Photoshop to fit their requirements and give me a working diagram.  
This is a picture of the painting they liked.  A side by side comparison of the finished painting with the original inspiration is near the end of the blog.  

You can see the original rectangular painting and the square version in this photo with the print outs on my "inspiration board".  My clients also sent me pictures of their fabric samples so I had that handy to help influence and inspire the painting as it progressed.
After the initial sketch, I start blocking in the darkest values along the creek bank.  Then I use the paint to carve out the land forms and hills.
I add the dark reds and burgundies of the canopy leaves overhead.  I mix a lighter value from purples (mixed from the primary reds and blues) and greens(mixed from the primary blues and yellow) for the distance hills and trees and add that along the horizon line. This color is heavier on the purple than the yellow-greens.  I am thinking in terms of what background color will enhance the top layers of gold and orange leaves flickering across the surface. 
An even lighter value is mixed using pale violets and yellows with yellows predominating.   Using a warm color in the background flies in the face of the rule for warmer colors coming forward, cooler colors move back.  But, often, working on location, I see the rules are broken in real life, in nature, all the time.
I mix a sky color using Titanium White and Cerulean Blue and start to block in both the sky and the sky reflected on the creek.
When I block in the sky, my palette knife picks up some of the red from the canopy leaves and I get a purpley neutral that I use in the creek and background.
I start adding trees and green for ferns and moss and leaves.
I work the entire surface, background to foreground and back again adding trees, branches, and dancing leaves.  Back and forth, including the reflections and leaves on the water of the creek.
More layers of details are added.
Even more layers added, continuing to work back and forth, throughout the entire painting. 
Making the final touches and tweaking.  
The finished painting!   "Respite in the Forest in Autumn", 40" x 42", oil on panel, c.  2016, by Charlene Marsh.  SOLD
You can compare the finished painting(above) with the painting that the clients originally liked (below).  While they are similar, they are not exactly the same.  You can also see how the rectangular format was converted to a near square format. 
The painting was delivered just in time for Thanksgiving and the client kindly sent me an installation shot.

Looks fabulous!  I am so honored to have my painting hanging in their home.

I hope this blog gives clarity to the commission process so if you are thinking of commissioning a painting for your home or work space, you will have more confidence in your decision to move forward.

Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thanks for visiting!

Happy Trails!


P.S.  I am preparing an Art Launch in the next couple of weeks so be sure to sign up for THE ART BRUSH newsletter to get information about new work available for purchase at special pricing exclusive to subscribers.   You will also receive art news, tips about color, decorating, feng shui, exhibitions, and more!  As a bonus, when you subscribe, you will immediately receive a FREE one page report on How to Create Health, Wealth, and Harmony Using Fine Art!

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