Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tuba Commission Part One

Hello, Wonderful People,
I've  been working on a commissioned painting and will lead you through the steps.  Actually, to be fair, I don't have the beginning steps here, although I may have posted deep within my blog... I'll check it... later.

But for now, let's look at this thing. The first steps actually involved a lot of work before even considering putting paint to canvas.  Determining the size of canvas for one thing!  We discussed subject, a tuba, and what it would look like.  I thought an entire tuba would be kind of boring and cliche, and encouraged them to think of zooming in on an interesting part. My initial work was taking about thirty pictures of his tuba.  Check. Once I had my photos, I began manipulating them to find a section that was vertically pleasing, as we had already determined that the canvas would be 24x36, vertical, to fit into a special pre-designated spot in their home.  I found three that looked good and sent them to my people, and a discussion ensued, choosing the design I have here.  Check.

They wanted Mexican colors plus lime green. I did a small sketch of the layout and colored it in their colors with various whatevers I had around, including marker, watercolor and pencil.  Approved.  Check.

So... finally - the canvas.  Beautiful thing that it is.  My first step was to lay out the violets and blues.  I began with a credit card, squirting the paint thickly on, and ended up with my bare hands.  It's so sensual, and I like the way it looks.  Very right brained, and one of the most fun parts.  Background done.  Check.

The next step was to lay out the design and prepare the canvas for the tuba itself.  It's most important for me to get it laid out exactly right, because any mistakes at this point would translate into disaster!  For this reason, I take my time with it.  This is the most left-brained activity involved with this piece.  I'm working at this point with a watercolor crayon.  Easy to smear off if I make a mistake.  Yep.

Once it's all laid out, I begin my work with the brush, and my good friend, yellow.  Slowly and painstakingly, concentrating on the highlights.

I took my painting to the gallery when I worked, and it was quiet for a while, so I dug in and got as much done as I could.  Good thing I did, too, because we got busy and I sold quite a bit.

The picture below shows how I propped it at the gallery, to give you a little better feeling of its size.

I like it!  And it's slowly coming into being. My plan is to have quite a bit of the background showing through and hope to hold onto the brushy, immediate feeling.  We shall see!

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