Making of Charlie Chaplain

The making of Charlie Chaplain

A commissioned painting


This Charlie Chaplain painting is the second painting that one of my collectors commissioned me to do. Her first was a gift to her wife. That one was of Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line. I really like working with this collector, because she always seems to know what she wants when we finally hit on it!


Narrowing down the color palette

The first thing we do is decide on a size – in this case, she wanted it the same size as the Johnny Cash painting we had done. Next, we worked on the color palette. Typically I break down the values of an image in to shadows, mid-tones and highlights in Photoshop. From there we experiment with different color combinations. It’s just a matter of duplicating the layers in Photoshop and re-coloring them, then turning the other layers of color OFF.

charlie chaplain colors for painting
Narrowing down the color palette for the Charlie Chaplain Painting


UPDATE: Have added this colorful Charlie Chaplain print and it’s now available here

Keeping Notes

Since she was hanging this in the same room with Johnny Cash she wanted them to be somewhat similar. So we used Cadmium Red as the base and then a lighter value for the “pink”. Luckily I keep good notes on every painting, shooting a picture of the color palette along with the bottles and tubes of paint next to them so I always know what colors were used. I’ve found this to be a good habit for me as it helps in this case of using the same color red (as Johnny) AND if the painting is ever damaged and comes back for a repair,  I’ll know which colors to start with and can work out the values from there.


Charlie chaplain commissioned painting
Charlie Chaplain Modern Times. Acrylic on gallery wrapped stretched canvas measures 22″ x 28″ x 1.5″ . Painting wraps around the sides.


I know many artists that don’t care to do commissions, but you know, I really enjoy creating them. For me, it is a way to help people. Sure, I make money, and that’s always good, but the real joy comes from hearing my clients oooh and aaah! Knowing that they are brightening their world, uplifting their spirit and I had a part to play in it – THAT’S where the magic is and I hope I never tire of that feeling…

Ignite that spark in you and let love flow,

deb sigline


This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. graham mcquade

    Well done Deb, super painting. The colour palette check image has the look of a Warhol – could try selling that as well.

    1. Deb

      I noticed after making the collage that it did resemble that too! GREAT idea Graham!!! Was really happy with the way this Charlie Chaplain turned out – just such a fun, playful, pose. Thank you and thanks for the idea too!

  2. Otto von Münchow

    I think what you say is true, whether artistic work is commissioned or not. The result of the Charlie Chaplin painting is beautiful.

    1. Deb

      The thing is Otto, if we love what we are doing and it isn’t offensive (couldn’t paint “hate speak” stuff) why not? I enjoy everything about what I do – except maybe cleaning up the brushes

      1. Otto von Münchow

        I totally agree with this approach. Likewise, as a photographer, I enjoy photographer, whether it’s personal projects or on assignment.

        1. Deb

          Right, we are passionate to be doing what we do!!!

  3. Bespoke Traveler

    I hear of portrait commissions but rarely of art commissions. What a brilliant way to fuse the visions of two creatives into one canvas! I too was reminded of Warhol works while examining your photos of the Chaplin commission. Has this inspired you to try other similar ideas?

    1. Deb

      As a matter of fact, yes! I fell in love with the colors and composed all those thumbnail images into a tiled piece and now have prints available! I may even explore this as a new style to paint… As for commissions of art, it happens more than you would imagine. I think people value having a painting that is filled with emotion hanging on their walls, especially since they are helping to CO CREATE it! It’s a bit like being an artist without having to know all the “Art” stuff that goes into making it. Does that make sense? Thanks for stopping by and for your input Atreyee

      1. Bespoke Traveler

        It absolutely does Deb! As a creator I always assume everyone feels the same joy in being part (however small) of the process.

        1. Deb

  4. Anonymous

    Very well done! I just couldn’t find posts for a while. I think you should add simply like button, too. Sometimes people really do not have time to type the message. I have left many websites without commenting if I cannot find a moment to do so. I believe it still brings visitors.
    You have achieved huge progress. Everything looks so impressive. I love the painting pictures in situ, but I didn’t want to sign up for specific websites, so, I have just a few. Well, my own place is anything, but a place to show some painting in nice settings. I wish I had a beautiful corner in some room, but I do not. In situ images look fantastic with your abstracts.

  5. Inese

    My comment went as anonymous. Well, that was me.

    1. Deb

      Thank you too Inese, I appreciate your taking the time to comment. Luckily you don’t do big paintings and you may not need as much room, but I hope you will find a place that will work for you!! I too had space limitations and still do at times – but I am working to change that – time to revisit my business plan.

Comments are closed.