After seeing my Inktober Hedgehogs, an acquaintance in Maine commissioned me for a set of seasonal teddy bears. I had so much fun painting these 8×10 watercolors. If only I could quit my day job and become a children’s book illustrator.
People are really into engagement photos and capturing the moment the proposal happens. Typically in Colorado, that’s done in a beautiful place. By random chance, a friend’s friends got engaged at Dream Lake the same day I completed a 4×5 painting of that location. My friend immediately contacted me about buying it as a gift for them. This sparked a little idea of doing engagement paintings (at least as gifts for friends). A few days later that same friend contacted me about commissioning a painting of her engagement as a gift for her fiance. It was then I started to think that this could be a really cool market to dip my toes into: Engagement Paintings.
Colorado is full of so many picturesque spots that having an original painting of where you got engaged or tied the knot is a cool really unique way to memorialize it.
The painting I ended up doing was surprisingly way harder than I had originally anticipated, but I’m (and more importantly “the client” is) pretty happy with the finished product.
My friend (and former roomie), Sam, bought a condo a couple months ago and asked me to help fill her walls– which I obviously said “yes!” The first spot to fill was, of course, above the fireplace. She gave me a target canvas size, color preferences, and “aspens” and the rest was up to me. It was really great to work on my largest piece to date and it was my first piece to paint entirely without photo references. It may have taken me a long time (at least 39 hours) but I’m really glad with how it turned out.
Some how the last time I was home I was commissioned (convinced? coerced? tricked?) into doing a portrait of a family friend’s grandkids. KIDS?! PORTRAIT!?
I don’t do portraits.
Portraits are probably the hardest thing someone could ask me to paint. I think maybe I could paint people ok enough as long as they weren’t supposed to look like anyone in particular, but portraits are supposed to look like someone that the person knows. There’s personality and character that needs to be captured with a portrait and that’s really hard to do.
I tried though.
Ideally I wanted to do this in color because I had some really cool ideas for backgrounds that could have only been achieved through color. Since I was already WAY out of my comfort zone, I stuck with black and white to make this endeavor a bit more bearable.
The painting sat untouched for a couple weeks as I tried to figure out the right background. Personally, I really liked the piece with the blank background as I’m a big fan of minimalism. But since this was intended as an xmas gift for someone else, I knew I had to do cover the canvass to give it a “complete” look. Not everyone enjoys super minimalism/blank canvass as much as I do.
Finally, one tuesday evening I poured myself a glass (or two) of wine and decided to just put paint on the canvass and let the brush figure out the rest.