Custom Painting Feature

Posted by Sabina Kennedy on

This week we are going to look at the process of creating a large painting for a customer.

My wonderful and supportive Aunt reached out to me and was wanting something custom for a new office space in her home. She sent me color inspiration, decor, and ideas that she was looking for in a painting. From there I drew up a few different ideas and worked back and forth until we came up with something perfect. 

The painting was going to be large, one of the largest, non mural, paintings i'll have ever worked on. I had to hunt down a large enough piece of paper, and decide if I wanted to use just plain acrylic paints on the paper or try out gouache.

Gouache is an acrylic paint really similar to water color in that you add water to the base paint to make it the right consistency. The difference between gouache and watercolor though is that gouache is opaque, while watercolor is transparent. This means that with gouache you will dilute it with water just enough to make the paint flow very nicely, but when its dry, the color will be very solid. 

There was a lot of push and pull with this painting. We decided on a purple background and it took me a couple of tries to get it right. In the image above you can see the first attempt at the background. I pulled the colors for the detail from the decor pictures the customer sent me and as I worked, the more the colors just kept feeling wrong. After spending a couple of days just looking at the piece, I realized that the purple of the background was too red.

Once I changed the background to this bright, softer purple the colors seemed to lock into place. It seems that all forms of art making require a push and a pull and a receptivity to change. The piece in a way tells you what it has to be, and it's my job as the artist to hear this and respond accordingly. 

This painting from start to finish took about 2 months. Between working with the customer to get the perfect design down, to balancing painting work with jewelry work as well as some summer travel, it took a while to create the painting. 

Something that I think about when creating anything is what kind of energy I am carrying. When it comes to paintings and drawings, I want to be channeling really high positivity when working on them. I really believe that the mindset of the maker is transferred to their work. When you are displaying your artwork, you want it to make you feel good, and a big part of that good feeling comes from the artist putting the energy there in the first place. This mindset can be a factor in the timeline of finishing pieces. I want to be in a happy, loving mood when working because I want my customers to have that with them in their homes too.

I really enjoy custom work because it can be quite the challenge. For this piece I sat on it for about a couple of weeks before finishing it. Once I laid down all of the paint and some of the line work, I felt like it needed something to balance it out, but I couldn't put my finger on it. 

I played around with line weight, filling in come colors with black, adding in some fine details, and meditating on what the piece needs, and I feel really happy with what came out. 

Overall I am very happy with how this painting turned out. It pushed me to work in a different color palette than I am used to, and to work with different line weights than I usually do.

I love these botanical, magical, paintings because I feel like they take the viewer to a different universe. One filled with flowing creative energy, and abundance.

If you are interested in having a custom painting created for your home, please feel free to reach out! You can email us at lefthandedmfg@gmail.com to get started.


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