Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Creating Concept Sketches for a Client

In working on these mermaids, I've discovered something rather funny about the way that I work. I tend to just draw my ideas out in my sketchbook and THEN resize them in the computer to fit the proportions of the painting. I'll then add or rework things to make it fit within those proportions. Do you do this? Or do you draw out your proportions first and then create within those parameters?

I have chosen my three concept sketches for my client and have added color to them using some new watercolor pencils that I had purchased awhile back and some prismacolor pencils. I find it's a bit easier using these mediums for such a small piece. (the sketches are only 4" x 5" in order to stay proportional to my 16" x 20" final painting)

 I have sent these on to my client and am now waiting to see which one she chooses. It's always a bit nerve wracking when you send your ideas out for someone else's approval. Will she like them? Or will I be starting over from scratch? I guess that I'll just have to wait and see. Over the years I have at least learned that you need to make sure to only give your client the ideas that you are excited to create. In the past, I would have one that I really wanted to create and would put it in with two that I didn't like as much. In the end, I'd be stuck doing a piece that I wasn't terribly excited about. You can't expect your client to have the same tastes as yourself. In order to make the experience enjoyable for both of you, you must make sure that you are only offering to do paintings that you would be happy working on . The end result will be so much better if it's a piece that you are excited about.


  1. I think all three are winners! She'll probably want three paintings! That's such good advice you wrote about only doing work that you yourself are excited about doing! So true! The artist's enthusiasm for the project will be evident in the final piece. We can't hide our own feelings when we paint, they come out of us no matter what! About the resizing, I draw the initial draft any size I want, then worry about enlarging it to the right proportions later at Kinkos/Fed Ex on their giant scanner.

    1. I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only one who works like this! It's very true about our emotions. No matter how hard we might try to remain distant, our soul will find a way to make it's mark on our work.