Sunday, January 11, 2015

Designing a Custom Painting

20x20 Oil on Linen
Work in Progress

I am currently working on the design of two commissioned bird paintings with a special decorator located in South Florida. This is the progress of the first piece. The pair will be displayed along on the same wall, so they need to be the same size and similar in appearance. 

As with most custom artwork, we are referencing a specific palette and style preferred by the clients. These fabric swatches include beautiful pastels and jewel tones with light blue and pale green. Varying shades of brown and beige are carried throughout the home. The darkest color is a deep purple. Additionally, black and white can be added to the palette, offering an even wider range of colors. (I’m always searching for ways to squeeze out more paint!).  

During the interview process, the decorator mentioned her clients favor high contrast artwork, even though the fabric patterns appear soft and subtle. My objective then becomes to create contrast through the value scale. This is fairly easy to accomplish by painting a dark background, with strokes of pure white. Additional light and medium colors vary slightly from the palette, while maintaining tonal harmony.
So far, so good! I received approval for the direction of this painting and started on the next…

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