There are times that commissions are great fun to do, and such was the case with this recent commission that Wes and I did together as a Tandem treasure painting! Our collector friend wanted a painting of Carolina Wrens, and we had the perfect subjects in mind, our beloved resident wrens Peedeepeeps and Elvira. Of course, the first thing we had to do was take reference photos, so we purchased extra mealworms to feed to them since my mealworm farm had severely dwindled. As long as I kept a ready supply of mealworms, both Peeps and Elvira were more than delighted to pose for several reference photos.
When I had captured the perfect images, a composition was drawn up and the painting progress started. The first thing was to get the background painted in, to help establish basic values.
Next came the first wash on the boards below, as well as basic shadow colors.
Wes painted in the first washes on Elvira and the piece of driftwood which she was sitting on.
Then it was my turn to paint on Peeps and his feeding bowl for a while. At this point Wes and I passed the painting back and forth, as we built up the layers and values on our individual sides.
We then decided that the background needed to be darker to make the birds stand out more, so that was done in stages with a couple of washes.
One day I enjoyed painting on our back porch while Peeps ate worms and came to the table occasionally as if to check out the progress of his portrait . . . How cool is that!
Details giving hints of dogwood flowers blooming in the woods and of trees, trunks and leaves were added to the background. Then came time for us to take turns painting the final details on each of our birds and the other parts of the foreground. When finished we decided this was such a special painting commission to do and are delighted that it’s going to live with a very dear collector in a wonderful home!
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Until Next Time . . .