Saturday, February 11, 2017

Abstract Ideas…

Brought to Life.

I've just finished a major project: a large-scale abstract painting commission. 
Come take a tour through the process…

Blank canvases leaned against a wall

My clients wanted a focal point for their formal dining room remodel. Their color scheme is very neutral, so this piece was designed to add a shock of accent color. First they gave me an idea of what they wanted and I worked up a couple of samples.

cream color chipbeige color chip

gray color chip

 teal color chip

I can't tell you how vital it is to do sketches and samples before jumping into a large painting, especially one that is outside your usual repertoire. You have to go in with a plan, even with abstract styles. It gives you a chance to test your ideas and make adjustments to the color or composition without having to re-do the whole painting. 
(How many of us have learned that the hard way?)

 And a sample lets the client see your vision first-hand, so they know what they are going to get. 
I think of it as a warm up for the actual painting.

Abstract painting samples

Once the samples were approved, I had a full-size canvas custom made for the job. The canvas needed to be 6.5' x 4.5' which is not a size you can buy off the shelf.

I am lucky to have a local art supply store that provides a custom canvas service, right here in Encinitas. Jack at Rhino Art Co. has been making custom canvases for years, and he was able to give me some advice for creating the paint texture I wanted too!

Time to put my new painting wall to use! Read about my studio remodel here
There will be a future post all about how I created this great painting wall.

First, I roughly apply a textured base layer to give some dimension and body to subsequent layers of paint. Then I block in the basic colors and shapes in an underpainting, trying to stick as close was possible to the composition of the samples. The clients understand that there will always be some slight variation, but I do my very best to stick to the original.

First layers of paint

I continue adding layers of paint, drawing on a combination of experience and intuition, until the piece takes on the richness and character that I want. 

Then I add the final accents and details, and the painting is complete.

final details added

When you spend a lot of time painting on a small scale, painting large is a whole different experience. It involves your whole body, standing up and moving the brush with your entire arm. 
And you have to keep stepping back to see it fully and get perspective. 

perspective of entire painting

I admit I was a little nervous about starting this huge painting, but once I got going, it was so much fun! 
I felt really good about it, and the clients loved it too!

Final Abstract Painting

Stay tuned for the final photo reveal… 
coming soon! 
I can't wait to see how it looks in its new home.

Denise Cerro Signature Photo

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