Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mermaids Here, There and Everywhere

I have recently received a commission to do a painting of a woman's two daughters as mermaids. She actually doesn't really care for the mermaids to look exactly like her daughters. She's more interested in them having the same characteristics as her daughters. (one has black hair, one brown, one has freckles, etc.)

I have been itching to do a mermaid painting for quite awhile so I am eager to get started on this piece. I went to my client's house and saw the girl's rooms and saw the sorts of things that make them different from each other. One is a bit of a tomboy while the other is a little more girly. My client also  showed me some pictures of her daughters including one where her youngest daughter is at the beach making a sand castle and one where her eldest daughter has a butterfly on her nose. I always try to include personal touches in my commissioned pieces, so I decided to incorporate the butterfly, possibly the sand castle and even the eldest daughter's pet corn snake wherever possible.

I usually begin creating as many different concept sketches as I can. Various angles, poses, even themes until I find the three that I like the best. Here are the concept sketches that I have developed so far for this painting. After I choose the final three that I like best, I will move on to choosing color schemes and then I will present the final three concepts to the client so that she can decide on which painting she would like me to complete for her. I find it best to limit the number of choices that you give a client. More than three choices can easily become overwhelming.

My first concept sketch for this commission was done while at work. I used whatever I had around me, which ended up being a blue pen and yellow and blue highlighters on a scrap piece of ruled paper

  The girls like to be together, but they don't necessarily like playing together. As such, having one brushing the other's hair isn't really in keeping with their personality's, but I really like the idea anyway as it's more in keeping with what mermaids would do.

            I fit the eldest girl's pet corn snake in this one, though I will
probably fit him in whichever design my client finally chooses.

In this one I was playing around with the idea of the girls being on different rocks and therefore at different levels in the painting. I also like the idea of one girl lying down.
       In this sketch I fit in the youngest daughter's sand castle.

I'm still trying to decide which three I like best. Which are your favorites? I'm excited to start cleaning up these designs and adding colors. It's always a lot of fun to come up with new paintings though it's a bit stressful when you have a client to please.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the commission, and how wonderful that the client wants your own style of mermaid more than they want a photorealistic likeness of their daughters. That's how it should be! I love what you said about only giving the client a few choices. I learned the hard way that people who commission artwork are not artists, and I shouldn't expect them to me. They are very happy to trust the artists' judgement if you present your ideas with confidence. All your sketches are great. I like the sandcastle one, because of the story it tells, and because their heads are close together and have equal attention in the composition. I can't wait to see how the piece looks when you paint it!