Sunday, June 29, 2014

746 The Perfect Family

The Family (Commission)

Here's a commission I've just done. I almost turned it down because I felt intimidated by the task, feeling that it was way over my head.   I find commissions very stressful, mostly because I tend to paint things that are easy for me. Rather than painting what needs to be painted.
In this case the photographs were not as clear  as one would like and they were from different places and times.  I had to compose them so they were in the same place at the same time.
I'm glad I gave it a go. I'm totally pleased with the results.
  I instantly connected with that dog. I could really see the love in his face. I knew I had to paint that love. But what about the others. What part of their personality did they have that I could convey? The goose exuded authority. She seems to be looking for troublemakers to put in place. And that cat. Very moody and suspicious about  that big dog. Bunny looks pretty secure beside that dog. And finally that bird knows to stay close to the dog with the cat around.  Another challenge was how to pull them together.  I wanted to portray them as a family. Initially I considered putting them in a garden but realized that could make the painting too busy so I decided to put them on a sofa. I decided to put them in the Empress library with the light streaming in on the woodwork and across the damask red velvet love seat. Well, I happened to have used this same sofa in a painting I did last year so I was ready to tackle it again and make it even better.  How cosy and luxurious and traditional. They are the perfect family.
I used another photo where the bird was facing a little more front.
Cat keeping an eye on the dog. Ready to dart if need be. 

Mother Goose is in charge.

I was going to use this photo initially but thought it would make kitty the centre of interest. I wanted all the pets to carry equal importance.

What a loving, loyal, happy face.
First sketching in my notebook. Wondering how to pull these characters together.
Initially I thought a second cat would be in the painting. Not.
My first idea. Decided against the drama of the mischievous cat.

Decided on this layout. This is on paper the actual size of the final canvas. I was still  considering putting them in a garden. 
Decided on putting them on a sofa and moving the bird over to the corner  to create a circular movement in the composition.

Value block in on canvas.
I liked everything but the sofa which needed to look more work.

Okay, I'm liking the sofa and background more.
Finished. Ready for varnishing.

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1543 Untitled