Commissions: how I work

A rough sense of the to and fro

Recently, I was asked to draw somebody’s house – the exterior, from the street.

But after looking at it, and thinking about other angles (from the garden at the back?) we settled on an interior.

Using a single reference photo, I quickly created a digital sketch:

This went down well enough, but the person who asked me to do it specifically liked the idea of pencil or pen drawing.

So I requested some additional photos, giving me a wider perspective. Using those, I sketched in pencil a very rough approximation of what the room looked like: I wasn’t trying to get perfect proportions. I also sketched the patterns on the rugs.

Then I created a drawing on A4 paper and threw on some watercolour and gouache.

If you look closely, you see that I sustained myself by eating nuts: hazel, almond, brazil.

The painting was intended as a draft only, but it went down so well with my client that I decided to keep it and work it up digitally, using the “pencil” and “brush” tools on an app I’ve been playing with recently,

I heightened the colour, because I liked it very saturated in my original digital drawing.

But my client asked me to drop that down a little, to more closely resemble the colour in her room. She also requested that I make the ship on the wardrobe a bit more shiplike, and straighten the chest of drawers.

On my computer screen I placed the painted version (above, and below right) beside the touched-up digital version:

Painted and digital versions side by side

I wrote this as much as anything for my own sake, to create a record of what happened – for next time.

Is it how other artists work? I don’t know.

If you would like to commission something – well, you know where I am.

Even if you don’t want to commission anything, I’d be pleased to hear what you think. Leave a comment below, or jp at this domain name.


You can purchase a print of this here.