So how do I do a Commission? Where do I start? First I need several good photos, as one picture never tells the whole story. And using several photos enriches the creativity of the piece. Once I've decided what I'm doing, I do a detailed hand done drawing on newsprint - I make most of my mistakes there, as they are easily erased and re-worked. Then I trace my own image using tracing paper that I then cover with graphite and re-trace onto the watercolour paper or canvas. If any of the lines are too dark, I will use a gum eraser to pick up some of the graphite. Then I begin painting and slowly develop the colour. Naturally, by this time, I already have the client's intitial approval.
It can take weeks sometimes, to get to the point I can call the painting Finished.
One of the tricky little things about commissions is that it's not enough for the dog to look like the breed, if indeed, you are painting a pure bred. Each dog within a breed has his/her own looks, and it's imperative to catch that difference. I'll close by showing you two portraits I did of two sweet Cocker Spaniels, each the same colour, but each one has a unique face.
Heather Anderson www.heatheranderson-animalart.com