Here it is! The Pooh Bear commission is officially completed and installed. Though painted on canvas, I think of it as a small, detailed mural. Final installation size was 22″ x 76″, designed to fit a long narrow space above the mirror in a kids’ bathroom. Once layout sketches and color comps were approved, I transferred the layout to canvas using an opaque projector. The client requested, “bright, kid-friendly colors, and classic style”. When they saw the finished piece, their response was, “That’s exactly what I was picturing!” So, mission accomplished!!
I teach a high school painting class, and brought one of the panels to school to demo for my students. I’m always encouraging them to get to know their tools (brushes, paints, paint thinners) in order to manipulate those tools to gain desired effects in their artwork. Know how far the bristles of a brush will extend as you pull a stroke. Develop a sense of water to glazing medium to paint ratio…how much paint you need on your brush and how thick or thin that paint needs to be for the area you’re working. Experiment with techniques such as dry-brush, spatter, knife painting, etc. to create different textures. Of course I demonstrate these techniques in class on a regular basis. But it’s more effective for the kids to see me applying what I teach in a “real-life” commissioned painting. As I look back at some of my favorite painting teachers and professors over the years, the most memorable lessons were demos they did using their own work. Portrait commissions, children’s book illustrations, Time magazine covers, all showed me that what I was learning in the classroom totally applied at the professional level in everyday life.