I was recently asked to complete a painting of a resort in western MA, and thought it may be helpful to share my process of working on a commission. The painting, which I titled "Cranwell Winter," was completed for a client to give as a wedding gift. She wanted a painting of the location of the wedding ceremony- the Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort in Lenox, MA. She had taken photos of the structure and sent them to me. I used them as well as my own google searches as reference material for the painting. Along with sending me some images for the subject matter of the painting, we also discussed budget, schedule, size and materials for the commission. Once we were able to finalize those details, I made some compositional sketches. Below are the client's images and my google research of Cranwell.
After researching and gathering reference I started with some thumb nail sketches 1.75"x 2.25" in size to work out the composition for the painting. I did nine different layouts. When they were finished I emailed the client and asked her to pick three designs she liked and I developed those further. The client picked sketches number 3, 4, and 8.
I took the three sketches she picked and did variations on the layouts. I did them a bit larger than the thumb nails, 3.5"x 4.5", to allow for more detail. When these were finished I sent them again to the client to choose what the final painting will potentially look like. They chose number 4.
In between working on the sketches I began priming and toning the canvas. Once the design was decided on I drafted a template of sketch number 4 at the same size as the canvas (14"x 18") to help speed up the drawing process on the canvas.
The images below show the blocking in and development of the painting to it's final finish.
This is the finished painting. The entire process, start to finish, took approximately 3 months. The client and the gift recipient were very happy with the final painting. To learn more about commissioning a project please follow this link: Order Commission
"Cranwell Winter", oil on canvas, 14"x 18", Jan 2016