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