Under painting on canvas. 60" x 36"
I haven't posted in awhile. As I mentioned last time I've been working hard on a commission that I had to keep secret. This is the commission , "The Magic Tea Party" still not complete yet. It was a surprise anniversary gift for a friend here in Los Angeles commissioned by his wife. The couple finally had their anniversary this past Friday so I can now post some pictures of its progress. I have been interrupted in completing this picture by a commercial illustration job that I've also been working on simultaneously. This other illustration job will also have to remain a secret for a month or two more, but it is for a really popular TV show.
The central portion of The Magic Tea Party is a double portrait of my clients two children. They are surrounded by magical fairy tale animals and personal family pets, a dog and a cat. Also depicted are the kids "lovies", their cherished stuffed animals.
I have been using the Norman Rockwell method for preparing all my storytelling paintings. First I create idea sketches, when those are approved I hire or find my models and props and create the charcoal sketch.
Then I create a couple of color sketches and finally I transfer the charcoal sketch to the canvas and make an under painting. Here I used Mars Violet. But I have been experimenting with other colors as well.
I also painted a small landscape study from life in Plein-Air for reference to use in painting the background of my scene.
Now to make matters a little more complex. Once the husband saw the picture on Friday he had some changes he wanted introduced. Till this point I had only worked with his wife's input.
I hate to change things at this stage but it is their painting.
He felt the Mad Hatter character being anonymous to them ( he was a professional model I hired), and not personal like all the other animals, pets and stuffed animals, should be changed to a mythic or fairy tale creature. So we decided an alligator headed Mad Hatter would be more appropriate!
I have made these changes and suffice it to say I like the picture a whole lot better, though it is making my finish of the painting a little slower. As soon as I make more progress in the final painting I'll post an update.
Plein-air landscape study.