I really have to get creative with this one, as I don’t have a reference photo that I can work straight from. What I mean is….the client’s family are all grown up now with children of their own. They have asked me to paint their children in a beach scene, as this was their favourite holiday destination…’camping on the beach’.
They’ve given me albums containing family snap shots. As these have been taken probably some 30 odd years ago, they’re not the best quality to blow up....plus they’re just candid family photos, there’s not one particular photo I can use as my main reference photo. I pretty much have to construct the whole painting.
With some of the reference photos of the kids there’s no light at all on the figures, or the photo may have been taken with a flash….I really have to think to make sure I get it right, ie. with the shadows and sunlight touching the skin.
.....close up of the figures
Commission Untitled - 'under-painting'
oil on stretched canvas
102 x 76cm
Normally when I get requests for commissions, I ask the client if they can provide reference photos taken the same day, place, time, and in bright sunshine. I can then compose the painting from the various photos, and the light and shadows on the figures and landscape is all pretty similar. Not sure what other artists do, but this works for me….makes my job a lot easier anyway.The customer is also wanting me to add some family pet dogs to the painting….stay ‘tuned’, I’ll let you know how I go with this one…..