Saturday, February 3, 2018

Painting Light

24x18 Acrylic on Canvas

The reference image for this painting of the Caribbean ocean had a sense of brilliant light that I hoped to capture on canvas. From past work, I realized the importance of developing a section of contrasting dark values, while ensuring lighter shades of blue are showing through. Thinking about the goal ahead of time was essential for the outcome, because it is often a challenge to change the layers once applied.

I started the painting with medium and deep blue colors, along with subtle green tones. The foreground corner appears almost black. This process was opposite of what I've done in the past, as similar seascapes contain a darker horizon line. Additionally, I experimented with a clean palette knife to obtain the “whitest” white on the horizon. It also worked well for adding texture in the waves.  

Prints and products are available at > (click link)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Lighthouse Oil Painting

St. Augustine Lighthouse
24"x18" Oil on Canvas

Built in 1874, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is a striking structure that can be seen from many miles along the northeastern coast of Florida in St. Johns County. In addition to its height, I believe the contrast of black and white stripes enhances its daytime visibility. While painting this image, I thought about the significance of lighthouses and their symbolism in aiding ships safely to shore.
Wishing you all the best in 2018! I hope you find time to paint, view art, and experience the beauty that surrounds us every day ~ Eve

Original, art licensing, and prints available

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Custom Artwork Contracts

16x20 Oil on Canvas

In this post, I will share thoughts about custom artwork contracts and details to include in the document. This is a continuation of my previous post, “Quoting Custom Artwork.” It is intended for both the artist and the client and does not serve as legal advice.

As information is gathered, both parties should determine if a signed contract is  necessary. Here are other questions to consider: 

As the Artist:  

·         How confident are you about achieving the client’s vision?
·         Can you complete the project within the requested deadline?
·         Do you have enough information?
·         How much of a financial risk are you taking?
·         What is the size and scope of the project?
Being clear about your abilities is most essential.  You may be asked to do projects outside of your specialty area. If that’s the case, turn down the job and refer the client to another expert in the field. For example, I have declined offers for painting wall murals and made suggestions for muralists in the area.
On the other hand, I have accepted painting projects in a variety of subjects and styles that were challenging and successful (meaning that the client was happy). I gained valuable insight from the interactions and used the experience to revise processes and business practices.
As the Client:
If an artist submits a signed contract, you can accept this as a good sign, especially when it involves multiple or complex projects. This is another method to confirm your specifications. Read the document carefully and ask additional questions that may not be included, such as:
·         What is the deposit amount?
·         What is your return / refund policy?
·         What occurs if the painting is damaged in transit?
·         Will you make changes to the painting?
Note: Many artists do not accept refunds for custom artwork, due to the time and supplies involved.  Review pictures of the painting before it is mailed to you.

The Final Contract 

The artist drafts the initial contract based on the details discussed via email, phone, and in person.  Some have standard documents on file and simply need your signature. 

In my opinion, the information should be revised until everyone involved agree to the terms. The final contract becomes a tool for future reference. But in the end, I have found that communication throughout the entire project ensures the best outcomes. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quoting Custom Artwork

Coastal Cloud
10"x 8"x .75
Framed Oil on Linen

This blog post is geared towards artists who are interested in doing commissioned artwork and things to consider before submitting a quote to your client.
While it may seem like a complex process, taking a standardized approach, much like a checklist, will simplify everything for you and potential customers. The main concept to keep in mind is:

Avoid burdening the client with unnecessary information upon initial contact. Ask only pertinent questions such as:
1.      The painting size – including the depth of canvas edges
2.      The location or zip code of the buyer – to calculate shipping costs
3.      Preferred medium – oils, acrylics, watercolors, etc.
4.      Any variances from the reference image
5.      Deadline for completion
Quickly respond with an all-inclusive quote (within 24-48 hours)
Clients might have tight deadlines and are researching artwork on behalf of other individuals. They will appreciate a timely response to their questions. Additionally, rapid communication will give them an idea of your future interactions and reliability.
Behind the Scenes

 There are several other things to consider in calculating the overall expenses and value of the finished piece:
1.      Work Involved – Before agreeing to any project, estimate how long it will take you to complete the painting, including the drying and shipping time – to their door. Oils will take longer to dry than acrylics. If you need to order special supplies and additional equipment, add this into the equation.

2.      Custom Artwork Markup Fee – Review your current price list for recent and similar paintings of the requested size. Add a percentage for custom artwork. If the painting is significantly larger compared to what you normally produce, you will need to set aside other projects for the duration. Make the project worth your effort.

3.      Supplies & Shipping -  In addition to canvases, brushes, and paints, consider the shipping and handling costs, especially with larger works that require insurance. Check with local carriers to obtain rates for oversized works. You may also want to offer framing or companion pieces.
The client is unlikely to be concerned with the details of the supplies, working hours, and how you arrived at the final cost. If you have a website, chances are great they have researched your portfolio, viewed prices, and decided to contact you based upon their knowledge. Don't we all do the same thing when it comes to online purchases these days? Art is no different - and this is coming from an artist who also collects paintings :)

The Final Quote - The minimum information provided should include:
1.     Price – As if the customer is adding the painting to the shopping cart
2.     Estimated time of completion – when the client can expect the painting to arrive at their location. (I add a few weeks for larger projects with multiple paintings or larger work. It is much better to deliver the artwork early than to be late.)
       3.    Deposit - What amount is required to begin the project? Decide ahead of time if you will
             invoice the client in increments. Some artists may require full payment upfront.

Once you have sent the response, allow the client plenty of time to reply. I recommend waiting at least 5-7 days before following up. If they want to proceed, the next step is to confirm the information and enter a "contractual agreement".
In the next post, I will offer suggestions for setting up a custom artwork contract, as a tool for enhancing communication between both parties.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Painting the Coast

I have been painting a lot of tropical and beach themes lately. I am also updating my studio and office with coastal décor. Here a few ideas for those of you who were thinking of doing the same (while staying on a reasonable budget).

Tips for Decorating with a Coastal Theme
Select 3-5 Colors - Choose colors that you love the most and carry them throughout the rooms. First determine the tone or value scale you want to use. For example, navy is on the dark side of the scale while lighter blues can be viewed as almost white. Also, keep the level of energy in mind. Gray and lighter blues will have a calming effect, while a combinations of rust, coral, or orange tones will create a sense of energy.
Select a theme - Coastal décor includes anything from lighthouses to tropical fish, lifeguard stands, boats, aquatic birds, and seashells. Plants that grow in warm climates such as hibiscus, orchids, and succulents further define the region. You can mix themes and easily stay with the same color palette.
Use Glass and Shells - Decorating with glass items is an inexpensive and effective way of adding color and transparency. Purchase larger glass containers at your local donation centers and fill them with the shells you collect this summer. Set colored glassware on tabletops for keys or remote controls. Place larger shells on bookshelves.
Use Wood - Wood shelves, driftwood, and barnwood picture frames to give a home a natural appeal. Alter their appearance to suit your decor by staining or painting them black, silver, or gold. Select the correct staining products for each type of wood.
Paint the Walls - Maybe it's time to change your interior wall color or paint an accent wall? Choose your artwork before purchasing gallons of paint. Paint a small area on the wall, and once it's dry, hold your painting next to it. A darker wall color may compete with the mood you are trying to create. I recommend using the color Softer Tan by Sherwin Williams as a great sandy color!

The paintings in the banner are available as prints and originals. Visit to view these new listings and sign up for my email notifications if you would like to view the paintings as they are posted.
I would love to hear your ideas! Please feel free to leave a comment below.