Tales from a commissioned artist II

This is a painting of Cynthia and her daughter Erin dining in a plaza in Italy…. or is it?

I met with Cynthia and Craig to discuss a painting commission chosen from the many photos they took on their Italian vacation. It was especially memorable because their daughter was able to join them. After we went through the stack of photos and chose promising ones, we narrowed the choices to three views of a plaza in Florence…. one that mostly looks like the painting, and 2 others with details of cascading flowers, the far building and diners. I loved how the shadowed buildings to the right direct the eye to the sun drenched east-side of the plaza. It suddenly struck me that this painting could include Cynthia and Erin with the other diners.

We arranged for Erin to join us for an afternoon photo-shoot with her mom and a glass or two of wine. I seated them with patio furniture using the plaza photo as reference for lighting. The wine flowed as I shouted encouragements. “Be natural”, “Again, with feeling this time”, “Use your other smile”. Finally I had some shots to work with. I thanked them for being good sports and my wife drove me home:)

In painting the image, I had to compose multiple images together. The lighting of all the “detail” photos was consistently from the right and behind the subjects just like the main photo.

This is important. I choose to paint objects becouse the lighting on them is beautiful, I don’t make it up. You will be rewarded as you begin exploring the unfolding romance of light and  its star crossed lover, shadow.



“Italian Lunch” 30″x40″ oil on canvas

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