In my last blog I mentioned a portrait commission. It was an interesting one, and different from the norm, as I was asked to paint a back. It was a very beautiful back, belonging to a very beautiful young women. It was to be her birthday present from her new husband – so romantic!
When he saw it completed, he was not entirely happy with it as I had painted purple curtains and, apparently, she does not like purple. We discussed what colour the curtains should be – a hard choice as I had chosen purple to tone with the purple that I had put into the shadows of her skin, and eventually decided on a dark red.
Later, when I changed the colour of the curtains, I found that it completely jarred with the skin tones, and even some of the background. What I had thought would be an easy fix, turned into quite a test. However, I redid it to both our satisfactions, and later heard that she was “wonderfully happy with it”. So nice to know my painting can give such pleasure!
Below are the two versions, though I’m not sure the camera has done justice to the colours. The one above is the first with purple curtains, and the one below is the final version.
Since completing the portrait, I have taken a course with Nancy Medina on flower painting in brilliant colours. I much admire Nancy’s work, and had been trying to paint florals in oil, but was unable to get that beautiful glow of clear colour that I could see in her work. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and was able to produce florals that were much improved on anything I had done before.
Since the course ended, I have been practising putting my new skills in oils into practice and trying to find my own voice with the florals. I have even taken the brilliant colours into a painting of cows!
Recently, I was asked to give a pastel landscape demonstration to the Ledbury Art Society. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to both paint and talk at the same time, but it seems that I can! My intention was to show that a landscape doesn’t have to be all greens.
I enjoyed the morning tremendously, although I didn’t feel the painting was one of my best pieces of work. I may go back to it sometime, as it needs some refining, but I will have to take care not to “overdo” it.