Now that Jim has received the surprise painting from his wife Pam, I can share my latest artwork. This house portrait was a fun commission, since I've visited there many times, and the home symbolizes the warmth and kindness of my good friends.
I photographed the work in progress, to share my basic steps in painting a landscape on canvas. See if you can determine how Step 6 differs from the finished painting, shown above (I reveal the answer at the end of this post). With most browsers, you can enlarge the collage by clicking on it.
When Pam saw the painting as it appears in "Step 6", she was very pleased. She said she liked it just as it was, and I could sign it and apply the finishing sealer coats. I didn't want her to hurry with this decision, so I gave her a day to look it over, then asked again if there was anything she would like me to change. The one thing she mentioned was the dark shadow of the house. I figured if it was bothersome enough for her to mention it, then it was a problem. I looked at the painting again, trying to be objective and view it with fresh eyes, and I could see that the shadow was too dark and was contrasting too much with the rest of the grassy foreground. It was dominating the main subject, the house. I had bathed the front of the house with light, more than it would have in reality if it was in full shade - as the dark shadow indicated. In doing so, I had made such a dark shadow look false. Fortunately, this was not difficult to correct. I always do my commissioned paintings in acrylic on canvas, for this reason. So I took a deep breath, and repainted the entire foreground grassy area! Also, even though Pam and Jim's dog Jeb appears as a very small part of the painting, I was dissatisfied with how he looked. I had previously done a portrait of him, so I had a good idea of how he SHOULD look. So while I was fixing the grass, I also repainted Jeb, and felt better with the results.
I was delighted to hear yesterday that Jim is very pleased with his gift.
So there you have it!