Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Watercolour wedding

I received a painting commission a while back from Jo. Being an artsy person, she asked if I could make a few simple paintings for her to remember her wedding by. I was thrilled! She wanted a simple wash of her in the wedding dress, and another one with the scene of her walking down the aisle.

Armed with the reference photos, I was good to go!

I started with a thumbnail sketch of the dress portrait with some splashes of colour to see if she liked it. The background was a bit too colourful and was not quite she was after so I edited it and then sent it back for approval. Jo was much happier with the edit so I was able to start it in full size.

Thumbnail sketch before and after editing

I showed her the pencil sketch first to make sure everything was in order before inking it and painting it. I was a little annoyed that the paper was so thin that it started to wrinkle even after I've stretched it :/ I had to leave it under some heavy books for it to flatten out after the watercolour dried. That took a few weeks to flatten out. Oops. That should teach me to use better paper for watercolours next time.

Sketch and final product

I followed the same process for the walking-down-the-aisle painting; first showing Jo a thumbnail version. It was pretty much a direct copy of the reference photo minus the 'paparazzi guests' (LOL cause I was one of them), bags, unwanted props etc. It wasn't quite what she was after as she preferred the painting with more focus on the setting and atmosphere of the wedding so. In the thumbnail, the guests had too much presence so I had to alter that in the main sketch.

Initial thumbnail

Rough final sketch

After the final sketch was approved, I proceeded with the inking. Being a small painting (A4) with heaps of detail, this stage took the longest time. I had to be careful with all the details that I was putting in to make sure I didn't make any mistakes.

 Inking process took about 3 hours

After inking, I started with the watercolours (YAY!) Colour palette was easy cause Jo's direction for the wedding decor was very clean and non-clashy. I didn't have to stretch my imagination too far to make this painting look good! Also, notice the paper was stapled onto the plywood board for stretching. Turns out the paper was thick enough not to distort with the amount of water I was using for this painting. It never hurts to be careful though.

 Start of the painting stage
People painted and first layer of background filled in

Final product!

This commission was heaps of fun. They were my first paintings since completing my thesis and it was just such a calming project to do. Thanks to Jo and Jays for letting me work on this and being so patient with me. At the end of it, I received the greatest compliment - "It looks so Studio Ghibli-ish" *skips around happily*