The tribulations of a commission…

I have two commissions outstanding and one of them is underway. They are mixed blessing. Of course it’s nice to know in advance that a client will purchase one of your paintings; the trouble is that you’re painting with the requirements of that client constantly in mind. In this instance the client owns a derelict windmill and wants a painting of it in advance of beginning restoration work (he is probably the foremost millwright in the country, and therefore has an eye for detail). So, read on….

Oil, started on site

Oil, started on site

This was done on my first visit to the site. Not quite as dark as shown here. Sent photo to client, who said he would prefer a watercolour (admitedly I had not checked this, but I had oil kit with me at the time). Also he liked the view but didn’t want too stormy a sky. Also he wanted the windmill to be larger in the composition.

R0011036Now we are in watercolour with a more cheerful sky. The trouble is I am not happy with the light behind the mill – which makes it difficult to model what is a plain shape, and I’ve got into too much detail too soon. My idea of watercolour is wet-into-wet with detail to finish. Looking at the map the lighting will only be good early in the morning or after 5pm. Another visit is needed…

Watercolour 12" x 18"

Watercolour 12" x 18"

After a great day walking in the Broads with my wife, arrived on site at around 6pm. Lighting perfect. Settled down to making what I hoped would be a good start that I could then develop and finish back in the studio. And then disaster as I placed the first broad sky wash (for which I use an old shaving brush) – the paper I was using (TH Saunders NOT) is old and the sizing has deteriorated. So the sky went dull and blotchy. Knowing I would have to make a new start with fresh paper, I cracked on quickly to make this a study. I won’t return to site, but I have enough to make a “final” version when I have a decent piece of paper.

I never thought this was going to be easy, did I?


~ by noelgarner on August 3, 2009.

One Response to “The tribulations of a commission…”

  1. Love the 3rd windmill painting, the 12″x18″ (despite not being a watercolour-liking person normally). It’s colourful, vibrant and alive compared to the other two:-)


    Blessings, rj

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