I recently completed a commissioned painting that was quite an interesting job. The customer wanted me to do a portrait of her husband’s favorite tree. The tree is near the pond on their beautiful land.
The thing is, the tree had died. It is a ‘post oak”, of which there are plenty around to study, but her tree was more interesting than most. It must have been really spectacular in its prime. Lots of angular and trailing branches.
I visited the site, took several photographs, and did plein air sketches.
Here are some photos of the scene.
I did several thumbnail sketches at home of the scene from various perspectives and at different times of the day. I sent some to the customer for her to choose from. Here are some examples.
The customer chose the view of the tree from across the pond with deep morning shadows.
Next, I did a full size sketch with limited color, which I sent to the customer, and she approved. (image full size sketch)
From there, I proceeded to block in the painting, using Spruce Blue Nupastel washed in with alcohol. My support is UART 400.(img block in)
I like to convert photos to black and white to study values. Here is one such photo.
Here are a couple of photos of the painting in progress, and the final painting.(img 10-9 and 10-12; and “final”.
I am pleased to say the customer was happy. She gave it as a gift to her husband, and she reports he really likes it.
Creating is fun and hard and interesting. I am privileged to have this opportunity. Stay tuned!