Back in September I was asked to paint a couple of watercolour and pen paintings for a lady who is a therapist up at South Acomb Farm near Bywell. She loved my sketches cards which she'd often bought at The Emporium in Prudhoe and she wanted a couple of her own to make into cards and give to her clients once they'd finished with her.
I was delighted to have the opportunity and since they were local sketches, I headed across for a few hours to look at a few scenes.
I had taken 6 pieces of loose, heavy watercolour paper as the client wanted original paintings. I completed four on the day as it was rather windy up there and my hands were getting cold!
The customer really liked the bottom right painting and asked if I would be able to incorporate one of her dogs into it. She often takes her clients for walks up this footpath and takes one or other of her dogs with them.
I pondered how to do this without ruining the original sketch, and came up with the idea of scanning the painting in, printing it out and then drawing the dog in.
I did two versions with a different view of the dogs. The customer and I really liked the side on view and I agreed to make it smaller. The other important thing were the words which I'd noted onto the plein air sketches.
The other view the customer liked was the footpath sign from the other side of the gate. Luckily it had caught my eye as well so I had taken a photo of it. When I'd had the initial chat with the customer, she'd talked about the symbolism of water, hares, deer and trees. I had encompassed the trees but none of the animals so I decided to add a rabbit to the footpath sketch.
The customer loved this and I added the words from one of the other sketches to it. I got the two paintings mounted for her and got the cards printed.
She loved the symbolism of the gate and looking back towards South Acomb Farm...an apt ending for therapy.
"The paintings are fantastic. You’ve made it hard to choose between them, as they all evoke something different about the place.
I really love the big sky and words you've added to the paintings, they makes it a multi-sensory experience of that moment in time. I love the subtlety of the berries and the long grasses in the wide landscapes, that hint of the change of the season, and again that sense of space with the landscape leading the eye to the distance and the expanse of the blue sky with the soft clouds. It’s so peaceful."
It was so delightful to be able to go and produce the sketches en plein air as it really is a very beautiful place to be. I'll hopefully visit again and do some more painting at some point.
I recorded the process for my YouTube channel, you can see the video here ~
Artist vlog, commissioned sketches from start to finish
If you'd like to gift a special painting to someone then you can find out more here ~ Gift Ideas