When I was asked on Monday to do the pen and ink drawing of the interior of the church of St Saviours in Foremark near Repton in Derbyshire I knew I wanted to get it done as quickly as I could for the client. Although there was a deadline for the day the picture was required, it was quite a good way off to give me a few weeks to get it done.
But I know things have a habit of turning up unexpectedly and I wanted this smallish commission to be done so that I wasn’t holding the woman up who wanted it. Plus I was excited about it and wanted to get it done, its a few years since I’d had a pen and ink commission and I find them very appealing, so I was excited about it too!!
I knew which photo I was going to work from, the client had told me which of my photos she liked the best on Monday when we were at the church and it was near enough a copy of that photo I had taken that I was going to work from. And since I was framing the painting for the client I knew the drawing would be 11.5 x 8 inches, but I always do a painting a little bigger than the actual size it needs to be for the finished picture to give me some lee way for fitting it in the mount. Sometimes just moving an image slightly up or down, or to the left or right can give a better viewpoint in a painting.
The first thing I did was draw out the important lines in light pencil and when I was happy with that, I went over them in pen. This is what I’m showing here as the first stage photo, with the pencil marks rubbed out.
The next stage was the roof timbers, and although they are darker in the photo than I drew them, if I had made them very dark the viewers eye would have gone to them, rather than the more important hooded pulpit and screen infront of the altar.
The stage after that was the altar, screen, and hooded pulpit and the two paintings on the wall.
The next and last stage of the painting was of the boxed pews and stone floor, and I didn’t want to put too much work into the pews as again I wanted the eye to go to the main focal points of the screen, altar and hooded pulpit. I didn’t need to draw in every line in the box pews, just hint at them, so the eye knows what they are, but looks more keenly elsewhere.
When I was happy with it all and had gone over a few small parts to exaggerate their shape or dark tone, I was ready to frame the picture.
By Friday afternoon I was ready to ring the client and tell her the painting was ready.. and was very pleased to hear that she was free to see me within an hour of my asking.
I drove over to her house with a happy heart.
She was as excited about seeing it as I was to show her. And she stood there infront of it and said straight away “It IS St Saviours!” and I was pleased that I had got that message across in the drawing, as it was a place she knows very well. She was delighted with it, and I said that I was too, as I know that clients like to hear that the artist has enjoyed creating it as much as the client enjoys looking at it. She thanked me for doing it, and I looked at her and said “And thankyou for asking me to do it for you! I’ve loved doing it!”
She paid me the balance of money that was owing me. And I shook her hand and wished her well..
And as I drove home, my heart was singing again.
Its a while since I’ve done a commission, and its my favourite thing to do, to paint a picture that makes other people happy. It makes me happy.
My serotonin level was very happy, that delightful contributor of feelings of well being and happiness!
The picture was done, delivered, and the client and artist were both delighted with it!