Hopefully you have been following this blog for the last few weeks but if not, this week’s video shows the creation of the 4th and final practice painting for a much larger work of art. I had a friend ask me to create a large painting as a gift for her daughter. The only information I had to go on was that my friend really liked the pour paintings she saw in my Etsy store and that her daughter really liked the color purple. That’s it. That’s all I had to go on. To make the situation even more interesting, my friend supplied me with a huge 36”x48” canvas. That is 12 square feet of art and it would be my largest painting to date.
Over the last several weeks you have seen the Purple Pour Project take shape with several different types of pour paintings. For the final creation I went with the classic flip cup. In the art world I believe it is called “going back to the well.” Almost everyone starts out their pouring journey by doing the classic flip cup. They are fun, easy, and usually quite beautiful. I have to say, this final painting was the easiest and most fun to make.
A Note About Making Paintings for Friends
When a friend asks you to make a painting for them that’s called a commission, and a commission for a friend can be tricky. Typically a person sees a painting you made, likes it, and buys it from you. It’s a simple exchange and you know the client is happy because they chose the painting and felt it was worth the price. But commissions are different. With a commission, your client is paying you for something that hasn’t been created yet.
Things can get tricky if your client is also your friend because you really want your friend to be happy with the piece. Most often your friend will only supply you with the vaguest outline of an idea and then say “I’m sure I’ll love whatever you make.” I have found that this familiarity can add a certain level of awkwardness or even stress to what should be a fun, carefree transaction. Whether your client realizes it or not, they do have something in mind when it comes to that piece of art.
In this situation it is your job as the artist to do some mining and figure out what your client likes. Find out what their favorite color is. Try to get a photo of the room where they plan to hang the painting. Have your friend sit down with you and look at photos of your other paintings and have them point out the ones they like. Figure out if they are drawn to swipes or flip cups. Once you find out these things you will have a much better shot at making them happy.
In my situation I did everything mentioned above and I took it one step further. I made four practice paintings for my friend/client to preview. When they told me which painting was their favorite, I was ready to move forward with their huge painting.
The four choices were:
The Purple Swipe from Center
The Classic Swipe
Straight Pour with Tilting
The Classic Flip Cup
Be sure to check in next week for the big reveal… Which of these lovely purple pours will become a huge 3×4 foot painting?
Thank you for reading along and taking part in this creative journey. I hope you have enjoyed the blog and the videos.
Steve Shaw is an artist and teacher living in Atlanta, Georgia. His days are spent in the classroom teaching his students the basics of art and self-expression. In the evenings and weekends, he paints. Steve has shown his work in several galleries in the Southeast and has illustrated three children’s books. Recently Steve has discovered acrylic pour painting and is putting all his other projects on hold while he journeys down this artistic road.