I don’t like to rush the design stage of a painting. Having said that by the time its come to me, its quite easy to sketch some ideas out to see how they work, and then adjust the colours or tones accordingly to make the painting better in as many ways that I can. But the basic concept will usually remain the same from the original thoughts.
The painting I’m working on at the moment, is the oil painting commission of the Royal Crescent at Bath, with various people, alive and dead, within the picture. The painting won’t be fully representational, but also it won’t be fully abstract either, but an amalgam of them both. But it will also have more of a surreality to it as well, in that the wind that is blowing around the people within the picture comes from the two much beloved people within the clouds of the sky. That is the concept. It took three full days last week for me to get to the point of being happy with it, along with a couple of long phone calls with the clients, in Bath, to agree the design and make any adjustments accordingly. I know the days were intense, because I woke a couple of times in the night (a rarity!) with ideas rushing around my head, and thoughts for the planning stage fresh and running free.
The reason it was done that way, was because the clients are going on holiday for a fortnight, and I didn’t want to have to put the painting on hold whilst I awaited for their return. By having three very intense days of designing it, it means that it has freed me more for the week ahead and being able to plan the colours at my leisure. When I asked the client what colour palette he wanted – the reply was that he’d sent me photos of the room, so I could see where the painting was going to hang, and since I was the expert, and he’d already given me the brief, he wanted to leave me to make the final decisions and didn’t want to interfere with those decisions, giving me free rein.
So, after emailing him the first design and then hearing his thoughts on it, adjusting the second design accordingly the next day and emailing him that drawing with the new changes, he loves it! And I’ve got the go ahead! Yay!
That always makes me happy, when it’s all positive and upbeat.
The client said “That didn’t take long, did it?” and I smiled! But he was right, and more to the point, he was happy. And that is what I’m aiming for, always!
So, now, I can think of the colours. I know to a degree what they will be – cream, brown, plum, black, red, and silver. And I know the silver will be the wind, blowing diagonally across the painting, full of love, and connecting the people, but also with a power, a spiritual power, as well as a physical one. I don’t think at the moment that anything else in the picture needs to be silver, as that will detract from the wind and that is one of the most important aspects of the painting. So, the next stage will be working out the layout of colours for dramatic effect. As the painting certainly will be dramatic, and it also needs to stand proud from the heavy and dark Georgian style wallpaper that it will hang against.
Then, I can start painting it, properly.
But yesterday, I did something that although not obviously connected with the painting, it is something that will affect it, totally and absolutely. Fully, and instantly.
It was my choice of music, for my iPod.
Loud, rocking, with good rhythm, and the stuff that instantly fires me up!!!!!