Sunday, April 15, 2012

In the studio 1.0

I love doing commissioned work. At this point, creating pieces for customers per their ideas, constraints, and color choices is my primary source of art sales. Some artists don't like working on commissions because they feel that it inhibits their creativity, but on the contrary, I find it pretty damn rewarding to be able to take an image that only exists in somebody's mind's eye and turn it into an exciting piece of art that they have been picturing all along. I also find that it often forces me to get outside of my comfort zone and explore subject matter and mediums that I never would have considered before. I almost balked when a customer asked me to work on a piece that he referred to as "a big gay stallion of a painting", but that piece is actually turning out amazing. Don't fret, you'll see a tidbit of it sometime soon.

Whenever I am working on a piece for a customer, I send updates of the piece's progress to ensure that I am going in the right direction with it. The one downside to this is that even if I'm on a roll and things are going great, I need to stop working until the customer gets back to me and gives me a yay or nay on the new work. Sometimes that is a few minutes, and sometimes it's a couple of days. 

Here are the WIP pictures of my last commissioned piece, which I finished this weekend. The buyer is Erik, a great guy who is very easy to work with, and who has always been very supportive of my work. He actually purchased a painting from me last summer, as well-- a repeat customer means I'm doing something right, which is a good sign in my book. He wanted a landscape of the Chicago skyline at sunset, and I know from the last piece I did for him that he loves bright colors. That's my style, so that's great for me.

Outline in Sharpie marker, pthalo blue to create 
dimension and add shading.

Mixing up some greys and browns for the cityscape,
as well as using my newly-purchased metallic acrylics, 
which are super cool.

...and the finished product, which Erik approves of and I can't wait to ship off to him. At 48" x 24", it's going to be a bear to package and ship across the country.

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