I had done a digital painting that I was really happy with, but I knew that is could be better in oil. My first pass in oil was not close to the digital, but I was able to work out the mechanics of the figure, especially the tilted shoulders. Using the model photo and my digital painting as my two sources of reference, I finished this yesterday rather quickly. Was it because I had a digital painting to keep me on course with staying fresh and spontaneous? I would think so. As I photographed it, I noticed three things that needed fixing and I literally spent the early morning going from computer to easel and back to camera to get things right. Funny how one tiny stroke placed just right can make all the difference in the world. Wouldn’t you agree? I like the oil painting, what do you think? Digital or Oil?
I'm glad these came out so well. It's a funny thing about doing commissions. It's much different than plein air or landscapes which the only person I really need to satisfy is myself. Of course selling landscapes is nice, but when it comes to commissions, the painting is practically sold and the art has to live up to expectations of both parties involved. As a result, I've become very selective on what I do take on. That's the only way I know to keep the end result looking amazing. If a client decides to become a "co-pilot" of the artwork instead of being the passenger, nothing good can come of it and no one will be completely satisfied. Over the years, I've learned that it is best to give the money back and move on to something more productive. Some artists are better taking direction from others, but for the most part, listen to your gut. If you are miserable being the hired brush for someone trying to express their artistic ideas through you, it's best to cut the cord and let them find someone else. You'll be much happier in the long run! If you do find someone who is willing to let you paint and express your ideas while commissioning a painting, think about charging double the amount of a painting that size. After all, not only do you now have to satisfied with the final painting, the client does as well.