Where's Daddy?


A customer and friend of mine gave me a commission to do five 9" X 10" paintings, of her father who passed away.  I was honored to do this for her. Her father loved golf and she had found a small photo of her father putting, I believe at his favorite golf course, Cypress point.  She was worried that I wouldn't be able to paint her father with five "different" images, and was leaving it to me to experiment and create something unique for each one. Here is the original photo of her father.  It was important to capture her father and I asked her what were some of the characteristics that identified her Dad.  She said he loved to wear that specific hat, he liked light colored clothing; he always wore his watch and wore Khakis. Taking all this into consideration, I decided to use my iPad to expand further on the idea.  I have loved how creative the iPad has been for me and allowed me quite a variety of tools to create.  I knew her father loved Cypress Point Golf Course and decided to incorporate the photo on his favorite holes.  The iPad allowed me to download the photo of the Cypress hole, crop scenes, expand or edit.  I had to take into consideration the different lighting, scale and shadows to correlate with the scene.  Here is an example of me laying the photo in the picture.            



And here is the finished painting.





Here is one more example. I placed her father on a hole by the water . Below is the image laid into the scene.


And here is the finished painting using the photo for reference.  It was important that the lighting was correct and that the figure was in proper scale to the flag.


The iPad was such a great tool to use and my customer was estatic and happy she could bring her father to life in these settings.

I love doing commissions and hope you will contact me with your future needs.

In Search of the Perfect Beginning

"In search for the perfect beginning," quoted by Robert Henri, painter and teacher. Have you ever painted a painting and no matter how much detail or paint you put on it, it was destined for the trash. In the same respect, have you ever done a painting that was flowing so freely that you completed it in a no time? How important is the beginning of the painting? It is very, very, very, important. Did I say very? Yes if you don't have good bones to the painting a good foundation to the painting in the very beginning, no matter what frills you add it will not work. Have you ever seen a small painting from afar and it carried; I mean the shapes, the patterns the values visible. So many times we believe that if we add more it will be a better painting, "First the dog then the fleas." Less is definitely more.

So many of us don't know the rules of a good composition. Now I don't like rules, they are meant to be broken, but you must learn them first and then you may break them. I remember I once heard that prior to being 10 years old, we easily did great compositions, because we were using the right side of the brain. But, when our brain matures and the left-brain gets involved, we sensor, we forget what was innately part of our being. So, I guess we are back to learning some basic rules.

Now composition can be done with line, color, shape and value. An entire painting can be off, but you could balance it in the corner by a dominant splash of red. Or you can have a wonderful composition and the values are to close together, so if you squint your eyes it looks like one shape. Take a black and white photo of your painting and you will see the values. All of the above aspects are very important to give you the dynamic and fabulous painting you desire. Let me give you another example, Have you ever done a still life fruit and a vase of flowers? Is every object spread out? Or did you try overlapping some and maybe even going off the page with others, using the full canvas or paper.

There are endless aspects of a good composition, but it is amazing how when we see a great one, we all know it instantly. This is the foundation of a great painting.  So, before you lay on any paint, check out the composition, search for your perfect beginning.