This spring, I used my iPad, and the app Procreate to develop some painting ideas for a commissioned beach-themed artwork. Painting digitally is helpful because you can work with the client to try out different ideas without actually applying paint to canvas. You can easily go back and remove the changes with just a click of a button. In this sketch, using the client’s comments, I lightened and softened the large areas on the right. Then I add more tan and reduced the darker areas. I thought you might like to see how the final painting turned out. To the left is the revised digital sketch.
The final painting “Nantucket Summer” is now happily hanging in my client’s home on Nantucket Island.
In a previous blog post, I wrote about putting together a travel sketching kit. Here, you can see me putting my travel kit into action. So as not to make the video too long, I sketched the twig before the video started and compressed it into a hyper-lapse format. Watch me use colored pencils as paint with the use of a water brush. Click on photo to start the video.
Figuring out exactly what type of painting a commission client wants is harder than you might think. I start with having them review my past work and telling me which elements appeal to them. Then I ask about size, color palette, mood, and more.
I’m just starting a new commission and I thought it would be fun to share the process. The client wants the painting for her bedroom in Nantucket. She likes my “wonky circles”, the botanical elements, and the texture of layering paint and collage elements in my other paintings. She needs a 30″ x 40″ canvas and is thinking of something with the ocean. Her color palette is blue, tan, cream, and orange.
I decided to paint some sample ideas to narrow down her preferences even more. I was traveling last week so I couldn’t whip out paints and canvas on the airplane. Instead, I tried out the painting app Procreate on my iPad. Here are three ideas I presented to her.
Study One – A soothing, soft painting to enhance the calmness desired in a bedroom. The painting loosely hints at plants living both under and along the shoreline of the ocean.
Study Two – A more graphic style with the energy of the crashing waves streaming through the tide pools
Study Three- A more abstract image with lots of layers of collage-paper and paint. It’s an underwater scene of a reef that teems with life. The surging currents sweep the elements back and forth with the tides.
What’s your favorite study and why? Next steps…to talk more about what she likes, changes to make, additions or subtractions, color tweaks, and more. Stay tuned!
One suggestion to working faster and looser is to on start multiple paintings at one time. I use the same paper size and color palette to work up four different versions. That way, I can just move from painting to painting, adding a little here and there, letting it evolve more naturally. Everything is a little less important or precious so I don’t get as frustrated when a painting isn’t working out. I just move on to the next one and come back later with a fresh perspective.