Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Stealth Skills

One of the reasons I love being a portrait artist is because I'm part of the surprise. Portrait paintings make the best surprise gifts! A recently completed portrait fell right into that category.

This particular portrait was to be presented as an anniversary gift in May. Part of the challenge was being sneaky around the gift-receiver: the husband. He always seemed to be around! You wouldn't believe what I had to go through to get the job done -- ducking behind columns, hiding in the bushes, crawling though the a/c shafts...Okay, maybe I didn't go that far. That costs extra. But my stealth skills were called on to retrieve the photo to work from, and to hand-deliver the finished painting. The rest was up to the wife, who performed her part admirably.

If a portrait client frequently moves, like this couple, its important to consider the longevity and practicality of the painting. You want them to keep it forever. With that information in mind, I wanted the painting to fit in with whatever decor they chose. I knew they both loved the color red, so I made sure to use that in the clothing. The neutral colored background features my latest learned skill: knifing. It was the first time I'd tried out this technique on a portrait, and I think I did a decent job. I caught up with them a few weeks after the anniversary date. They were so pleased with their painting, especially the husband. I love surprises!