View Full Version : A long overdue Commission

03-08-2015, 01:23 PM
One of the reasons I have not been painting is because of this commission. A mutual friend of this couple asked me to do this a year and a half ago, shortly after the husband passed away. I have been stuck on it and just can't get it. I would tweak a day, get frustrated and leave it for weeks/months. I don't even want to enter my studio. I don't come here much anymore either. :crying: It has been in the way of being able to complete it and to move on----I can't get passed it. I have tried to put it away and attempt other projects, but it has wrecked my inspiration and my passion for painting.
So...... I need to let it go. I have to quit. I know it's not "right" (especially her head....and many other things.) but I will have to tell my friend that this is it. And hopefully with a clear/empty easel, I can start again. :crossfingers:





Lady Carol
03-08-2015, 04:44 PM
Ruth, sorry you are having such troubles with the commission. I think your problem lies with the references. They are not exactly the best and the shadows are quite strong. I think your decision to move on is appropriate. Maybe sometime down the road when you feel more confident you can return to this and nail it.

Charlie's Mum
03-08-2015, 06:30 PM
Nice to have you here again Ruth ........... oh how I feel for you with this!

The b/g is good but I can see your problems with the figures so I think Carol is right ... you need to let it go and clear your mind by doing things you'll enjoy, then come back refreshed and you'll see exactly how to put it right!:)

03-09-2015, 12:32 AM
Nice to see you back. I think you are very close, but painting should be fun, right? And if something is getting in the way of that then it isn't right to obsess about to the point of making the rest of your art suffer.

03-09-2015, 10:42 AM
Yes I feel for you too. The ref photos have been mentioned, how big are they and get bigger ones if you can, even take yourslef if poss. You have chosen a difficult project anyway with two likenesses. Good luck, it will come.

03-09-2015, 03:57 PM
Hi Ruth: you have some good comments from your fans. I like this in spite of just a few tweaks that are called for. You guys are a couple of cuties.

03-10-2015, 11:44 AM
I'm not a portrait painter so I admire you for trying. I wouldn't even want to try a portrait without a good digital reference that I could resize it and grid it or trace. It's too bad that this had brought your painting to a halt but I also understand the need to finish something. It's not that bad though, and the background is beautiful!

03-10-2015, 12:07 PM
Ruth, it's such a shame that you lost your joy of painting while doing this commission (one reason I stopped doing them) and hope you find the inspiration to create again soon by painting something just for you, with a subject that you love. Like Colin said, painting should be fun.
Even though the likeness in not perfect, the overall painting is quite lovely and I'm sure she will treasure it for the effort you put into it and the meaning behind it!

03-10-2015, 05:05 PM
As others have said, it is very difficult to extract the figures from these fotos. I don't know the size of you ptg. But if I can make some suggestions. First I would not give up on this commission. Having said that, I would start over.
I would paint the two figures in a portrait mode. My target would be no less than 12 x 16 and certainly no more than 16 x 20. The objective would be to keep the painted head dimensions smaller than real human head dimensions.
IMHO I would eliminate most of the bg. It attracts attention from the figures I would restrict the figures to heads+torsos just below the bellies. I would crop hard vertically into outlying shoulders. Of course this is just my opinion.

03-10-2015, 06:29 PM
Ruth, her head looks too large. But I can't see anything else wrong with your painting! Proportions are always a problem (they are for me, anyway). I wonder if you could work with that (making the head a little smaller), I have done it many times, believe me!

In any event, I am sad that your disappointment with this painting is a stopper for you. These things happen, and it would be great if you could just learn from it.

Have you got access to Photoshop? Maybe you can see what it will look like with reducing the size of her head a bit, and maybe tweak it on the painting if you can (you don't need to re-do the whole head, I would just move the eyes & hair down, for a start, and see how it goes.) You may need to fill in some "sky" around the reduced head, and that may not be easy to do seamlessly.

But if not, this is something to learn from.

Believe me, I can't find anything else wrong with your painting, it looks very good!

We can get tied up in knots over one project, I've also done that many times :) I wish a different experience for you. You have done well, I think.