Christmas “Commissions”

Since I was low on cash during the holidays, I gave painting “commissions” to my relatives.  I told them to make a request and I would produce an 8″x10″ painting for them.  Only one of them actually made a request… the rest said “do whatever you like”, which is actually harder because then I have to guess what they would like.  I would like to do some abstracts or semi abstract with loud colors, but I already know this won’t fit into their decor, and I want them to have something THEY would like… that having been the point of the gift.  I also know by what most of them have that what they display is realism, possibly impressionistic… so I’m going to use this as an opportunity to go back to some traditional and semi traditional botanical studies.  Everybody likes flowers and leaves for the most part.

The one request I did get was for a sunflower… to go with the sunflower paintings this person already has, done by their children, one of whom immediately expressed dismay that my painting would make theirs look “bad”… as if whatever I produce can outshine the beautiful pieces already displayed.  I can only hope to enhance them.  My first reaction was in fact similar – how can I compete with works lovingly made by your own children?

So, I experimented a little here, using oil pencils for the sketch, which I have never done before.

I’m also using my iPad to display the photo reference as I work.  (and play music!)  I used to use an old laptop for that sort of thing but gave up on it because screen resolution was bad, screen saver was a pain.  iPad has glare to contend with. I’d really rather use a live model (visually better and forces me to work faster before wilting) but sunflowers are hard to come by in the middle of winter.  The stock photo was generously provided free byVW1956stock.

I was able to work on this most of a day so far.  Hopefully one more glazing session and a final detailing session with some fat paint will finish it up and I can move on to the next one.

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2 Responses to Christmas “Commissions”

  1. Sherry K. says:

    This is beautiful Caroline!! What a nice idea…giving commissions for presents.

    • ilex9 says:

      Thank you again, Sherry. I like the idea, but I am still kind of surprised only one of the recipients asked for something specific. They’re all family and close enough to know the range of what I can produce… seems like they might be able to tell me “I liked ‘A’ that you painted, make ‘B’ for me along those lines. *shrug*

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