August 25, 2014

Working on a commissioned painting...

As an artist you sometimes get requests to create a specific painting for a client, this is called a commission. I've been lucky enough to have received a couple of these commissions in the past and I am currently working on one for a client in the Netherlands.

For most of my commissions I get asked if I could do a painting of a particular city and sometimes the client has a wish to see a particular element represented in the painting, I've had requests to add (or remove) specific buildings, people and in one case even a city bus.

Now, I only work with my own photographic material so I can only do cities that I've actually visited and taken photos of, and the commission I'm currently working on is a little bit special that way. I'm currently working on a piece of Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands that I had visited often but had never actually taken pictures of. So during the my last trip across the pond, I spent a day walking through the city together with the client to take pictures and see all the places that he wanted me to incorporate into the painting. This was the first time I went out to take photographs together with the client and it was a wonderful way for me to get a better feel for the painting as well as the city. I hope to be able to do something like this again for future commissions.

Creating the composition is always the most difficult part of the creative process, but in this case it was a little bit easier because I had a better idea of which elements were the most important.

Working on a commissioned piece is always a bit more complicated and daunting because the client has certain expectations and you sometimes have to change the composition to live up to those expectations. But it is always a great honour that someone would choose to have you create something special for them and their reactions are always worth that bit of extra stress :)

The commission of Haarlem is now in the final stages, a couple of days of painting and some varnish and then it is done and I know my client is eagerly awaiting the result so I should head back into the studio and start painting! I will leave you with some images of the creative process for this piece so far, and yes..... there are duck involved! :D

August 04, 2014

How to clean your paintbrushes...

When I opened my mailbox last Friday there was a mysterious bubble envelope waiting for me and when I opened it out came this beautiful booklet from the Sociology and Anthropology department at Concordia University. A couple of months ago they had contacted me about using one of my images on the from of their publication and this is the result! I think it looks awesome! If you would like to know more about this publication you can check out the digital version here:

I'm planning on spending this upcoming week in the studio. I have a commission piece that need preparation and I have a whole stack of empty panels waiting for me. I'm very much looking forward to filling all of them with beautiful colours and textures. Keep an eye on my Facebook Page for regular updates.

And of course its time for a new episode of Creative Ramblings. This week I talk about cleaning your paint brushes so if you have issues with those pesky acrylics drying up in your brushes check out my video!