Background interference

After completing the dog portrait in time for the Christmas deadline, (even with a stinking cold!) I’m all poised to get on with the next erotic landscape when I receive a call requesting that the two women who are involved with the painting – the “requester” and the “giftee”, (ie the woman who contacted me in the first place to order the painting and the woman for whom the present was intended) want to come and talk to me about the painting. Ok. Sounds sinister and I wonder what the problem is. It turns out, when they come to see me, that they love the portrait of the dog herself, and think I’ve caught her essence beautifully, and love her big soulful eyes and adore the painting EXCEPT for a slight alteration to the pinkness of the dogs ears BUT most importantly to the background. MMMm….. That was gratifying, that the only problem was in the background colour, and fortunately since the painting was done in acrylics it was possible to go over the colour with a different one (if it had been watercolour I’d have really struggled to do it and would probably have had to do the whole painting again from scratch!). So, what colour do you want? And it turned out, after they described colours to me, and I mixed up various shades to see that I understood the description of “more creamy greeny beige with a hint of yellow, but not too much, and not a lot of red or blue” that the colour they wanted was very similar to the colours of the dog. Mmm…. not a good idea and I explained why. That the colours I had originally chosen for the background colour complimented the dog, and made her stand out more, and made the picture more dramatic because of this. Yes, they understood this, but they wanted the dog blended in more to the background. Ok, I understand. But my problem was that I could see what the adjusted picture would look like, and needed them to understand it too before I started to change it and found that they actually preferred the original version! So, I painted them a couple of little thumbnails (small, indistinct sketches to show basic colours and basic tone as a guideline for how the paintings would differ). They stood and watched me as I did it and were still adamant at their decision. Ok. I’ll do it then and contact them when I’d done the alteration. I made notes as to their request and had a full understanding of exactly what they wanted….

…..And that was the strange thing. Because I was perfectly happy with the original painting. I had chosen the colours with care, and matched it all perfectly. It balanced as a concept, as a painting, tonally and colour wise and I had painted it on my creative gut-reaction based on years of experience, every workshop, and art course I’d attended, every art tutor I had listened to, every book I had read, every piece of art I had seen and NOW I had to overwrite all of that with someone elses concept, and you know what? It was difficult. I had to ignore my own creativity and go with someone elses input. Plus I had to make the image look like it was originally painted like this, and keep it fresh so not over-paint it and make it look “tired” or strained or false. Mmm…. difficult. So, time to do it, and I got on with it. Painted over the background with the new colours, forever changed to the new colours, and I stood and looked and looked and looked at the new colours and wasn’t at all sure that I was happy with them……… but I reframed the painting, rang the two women and awaited their arrival…..

……And you know what? They absolutely adored it!!!! Thought it was “fabulous”and that I’d done a wonderful job! Wow!!! So, they went away happy with the new version, and I’m happy they’re happy but I’m still not sure about the colours….. What do you think? Which do you prefer?

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

Comments (14)

  1. Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!!
    Jan 13, 2008

    I like the lighter one, makes the dog stand out more.

  2. Jackie Adshead
    Jan 13, 2008

    Vi – I can see I’m going to be in the minority over this one…! lol

  3. Racy Redhead
    Jan 13, 2008

    Original doggie for me. I like the teal blue elements in the background. They bring out the colour and texture of the fur, which is why you painted it like that in the first place.

    I can see this being a long running debate!

  4. Indigo
    Jan 13, 2008

    Love the title “Background interference ” No .. I’ve studied the two portraits and my instinct tells me the first one is the better of the two, just to confirm.. the darker painting. The lighter one does nothing for the pooch… in my opinion anyway!

  5. Jackie Adshead
    Jan 13, 2008

    Racy redhead – Yep, you’re exactly right, that’s why I painted it like that in the first place.

  6. Jackie Adshead
    Jan 13, 2008

    Indigo – Thanks, I was happy with the title too! And thanks for your comments re my background colour choice.

  7. nitebyrd
    Jan 13, 2008

    I like the darker version. It gave me the impression the dog was outside in autumn. However, the lighter one may blend better with the recipient’s color scheme. Not particularly a good way to buy art.

    Glad they were both happy with the re-finished portrait, Jackie.

  8. Loving Annie
    Jan 13, 2008

    Good Sunday afternoon Jackie.
    The first version on the left is more dramamtic, and if the second version is what rattled their cages, well, okay. As long as they paid for it including your revisions. Either way, the dog looks good.

    I wish you didn’t have to alter your art for someone else’s sake since I think your original instincts were correct as to color, but… I guess that’s part of the business.

    I’m glad they were happy ! Hopefully it’ll lead to referrals and more business as well.

  9. Jackie Adshead
    Jan 14, 2008

    Nitebyrd – I think you may be right regarding the background matching the color scheme. It was particularly the blues of the original painting that the recipient didn’t like.

  10. Jackie Adshead
    Jan 14, 2008

    Loving annie – I’m pleased that the dog looks good and it was only the background I had to change. It’s very rare for me to have to alter something like this because normally I have a very clear idea of what someone wants. In this case the first woman was trying to choose on behalf of the recipient, who obviously had other ideas! Hence the changes. But hopefully I might get referrals, especially when I complied with the requested changes, and they were so obviously delighted with them.

  11. Anonymous
    Jan 14, 2008

    Jackie…nice nipple!

  12. Jackie Adshead
    Jan 15, 2008

    Anonymous – Er, I think you’ve lost me……….

  13. tileman
    Jan 19, 2008

    Do you paint Boston Terriers? Ron Adshead Seaford,DE

  14. Jackie Adshead
    Jan 19, 2008

    Tileman – I’ll paint virtually anything – why? Is there something you want doing?

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