Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wedding Painting Progress

I recently had four wedding paintings on successive Saturdays.  Sounds great, right?  Well, yes, it is, but I'm a slow painter.  I don't complete the paintings at the event, I take 'em back to the studio to bring them up to my standards.  Since my paintings are advertised as being completed 2-4 weeks after the event, they kinda piled up on me.  However, that backlog is over.  One painting (a watercolor) was delivered a couple of weeks ago.  Another painting was delivered today.  A third will go out as soon as the notecards come back from the printer so I can include them in the box.  And the fourth painting is nearing completion.  Whew!

I thought it would be interesting to show the difference between the way a painting looks at the end of the reception and the way it looks when it is finally sent to the bride and groom.  Here's the "end of reception" one for Sara and Brenton:

Really, this is just a rough block-in.  I've got the composition determined, poses suggested, and enough indicated to get going in the studio.  None of the figures have faces - most are just a quick stroke of paint to mark the approximate location and size.  It needed a lot of work.  And here's how it looks now:

Quite a difference, huh?  The fundamentals didn't change: the composition, color scheme, and positions of the people.  But now the bride and groom, both sets of parents, the officiant, bridesmaids and groomsmen, all are recognizable.  There was a good bit of back-and-forth with the bride and her mom to get some of the details right, but that's great, because it resulted in a better and more meaningful painting.  They're happy, I'm happy that they're happy, and this one will be on it's way to its new home in a day or so.

Let's look at the one for Cindy and Bill.  Here's how it looked at the end of the first evening:

Again, it's just a rough block-in.  Cindy and Bill are in good positions but there's no detail: nothing in the faces, and the clothes and hands are just quick strokes of paint. The gazebo is barely indicated.  The crowd is only roughly indicated and, in fact, only one of them survived.  Yep, I killed all the others and replaced them with figures better suited to the situation, as you can see:

In the final version, I kept the positions of the bride and groom and developed their faces, clothing, and postures.  The bridal bouquet is now more than just a few blobs of paint and the dress has folds and texture.  I paid a good bit of attention to the environment: the trees in the background needed that early-spring green, for example, but I deleted some plants because they detracted from the people.  And I developed the gazebo into a real 3-D building.  The biggest changes were the people in the crowd.  Bill's parents and brother are in the back right (they weren't in the first version).  Cindy's parents are in the back left.  They are both deceased, but since they were there in spirit (Cindy had chairs set aside for them), I added them in.  Then I had to create additional people to fill in the chairs and throw the petals, but not to block the families.  All in all, I think it worked out pretty well.  This painting was delivered today.  Yay!

And there's still one wedding painting on my easel right now.  This one was more complicated than both of the two above, so maybe I'll make a blog post about its development when it's done.