Commission Accomplished…

I delivered my first commission piece this morning!  My client was a sweet friend from college whose family had lost their beloved Golden Retriever last year.  The artwork will be a gift for her husband for Christmas.

I wasn’t prepared for how nervous I’d be creating this piece for a client.  My biggest goal in illustrating animals (and people, for that matter) is to capture their personality in their facial expressions.  If I can’t recreate the expression, I have not succeeded…and that is just for my artwork, in general.  Add in a paying client and I want to create the character in the animal and satisfy the client.  It was a bit intimidating, to say the least.

This piece took me about 3 – 4 weeks to complete.  I was working from a photograph and the final piece was about 8 times larger than the photo.  It is in colored pencil and oil and wax pastel on Stonehenge 300 gsm. paper.  I met with my friend once before I got started to see exactly what she envisioned.  I met with her again when the piece was mostly complete to “tweak” parts of the illustration that were not quite right.  I texted several iPhone photos of the drawing while it was in progress.

Here is a photo of the final work:

She was a beautiful dog and all of her photos showed what a great personality she had.  I love the grin on her face!  My friend was happy with the final product and for that I am grateful.  As an artist however, I’m never 100% satisfied with anything I create.  There is always room for improvement.  I also feel like if I ever become completely happy with a piece, then I probably have become complacent.  I look at each piece I do as a learning experience and I always hope to grow with each step.  Thank you, my friend for trusting me with this beautiful girl! I can’t wait to see what your husband thinks on Christmas morning.

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