Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Where are you going ?

Or maybe it should read "where have you been?"

I received a special custom request a few weeks ago. My client wrote asking if I would be interested in creating a large 3' x 4' painting with "a black background with the names of the places that my boyfriend and I have visited this year painted in white text."

She provided me a link to what she had in mind here.

The preference was for white on black instead and for hand lettering rather than using stencils. After receiving the list of citites, I set out to create some possible layouts with a variety of type styles in photoshop.

My client opted for the bold look of the type in the first panel, upper left. 

I purchased the gallery-wrapped canvas - which seemed dauntingly huge.

I then set out to transfer the design onto the surface of the canvas. I printed out enlarged versions of the type,  pieced the words together and used graphite paper to transfer the letters to the surface.

I suggested to my client that rather than use only black and white type, I would blend and glaze a variety of colors. It would be a more interesting approach and create a richer, more complex image. 

In place of black, I mixed Prussian Blue with Purple Lake and occasionally also some cerulean blue. I didn't want the background to be one flat solid color so I repeatedly mixed the paint in different amounts and layered the on the surface, blocking out the letters. Gradually the background grew darker and darker.

Likewise for the letters, I started with a creamy mix of Naples Yellow, a touch of cadmium orange, and white.

I  glazed the letters, gradually bringing them closer to white but with hints of the original colors occasionally peeking through. I continued to build up the background, making it a rich dark, deep purple-blue.

I kept the letters slightly sketchy, and with visible paint strokes - this is a painting after all, not a printed poster.  

And voila -

My client is thrilled - now we're just waiting a few more days for the paint to dry before it makes its way downtown to its new home.

If you'd like to have such a personalized painting in your own home ----  

 you can order one here. 

Places or names of your choosing, other color options as well. Email me!

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