An Epic Piece
This painting was my largest commission to date. It was a giant 80 cm x 2 metres triptych and took several weeks to complete. Here you can enjoy the story of how it was created.
A lovely client
The client who commissioned this painting was lovely and very easy to work with. He commissioned two large pieces, the first, 'Bon Vivant - Lagos' (opposite) and a triptych 'Praça Luis de Camões - Lagos' for his penthouse apartment. Both buildings were meaningful to him, and were a great challenge for me to paint.
Preparation and Planning
I visited the client's home and talked to him about exactly what he wanted for both his commissioned paintings, and crucially, where they would be placed on the wall once they were completed. This enabled me to measure up the space available, and create a piece that would fill the wall space. We agreed on a large triptych measuring a total of 2 meters in width, by 80 cm height as the centre-piece for the living room. It sounded big, but it wasn't until Dave and I visited Lagos to photograph the exact buildings that would feature in the painting, that I realised how big it was going to be. We had to stitch three photographs together to get all the information I would need:
In the Studio
Then it was a case of prepping the three large boards and drawing out the detailed design which took over a week of painstaking concentration.
Juggling the three boards was fun, as I had to paint each section, like the sky, across all three boards at the same time to ensure continuity of colour. I had three large stay-wet palettes on the go, and a lot of tubes of paint laid out.
Painting in the details
Often it is the small details that really make these paintings come to life. I always try to balance my colours and the overall design, whilst also ensuring that the smallest areas are handled with love and precision. The banisters and windows in all the buildings were certainly fun to paint, sometimes with a size '0' brush. A large-scale painting doesn't always mean that I reach for the size '14' brushes!
Some days all I would accomplish would be painting one window and its surround. Slowly - but surely - the painting began to come together.
Joining up the sections
With a triptcych, I always try to ensure that all of my curves and lines meet up across the boards. I planned a very specific 40 cm gap between each board, so that, once it was hung in place, the painting would flow perfectly across the three panels. Luckily I have enough space in my studio to be able to stand the boards alongside each other to check the progress as I painted.
The artist's assistant
I was, of course, ably assisted in my work, by my faithful assistant, Kat the dog. She always sleeps on her bed beside me as I paint, and seemed oblivious to the modern country music blaring out from my speaker in the studio. (Apologies should also go to my neighbours if they heard any of my off-key but loud singing as I painted away!)
Finally it was finished! And only just in time before the client arrived to collect it. We wrapped it up in blankets and a duvet on top of the layers of bubble wrap that I had already wrapped it in, then we placed it carefully in his car.
He was absolutely delighted with the finished painting - and so was I.
The editor of the Tomorrow Magazine saw the triptych featured in one of our monthly newsletters and asked me if they could use it for a front cover image.
I checked with the client, as I am always respectful of a commissioned piece, even though I retain the copyright on all of my work. He was more than happy for the painting to be featured, and the magazine chose the centre panel as their front cover of the May 2020 edition.
You can see it here via this link:
The client also gave me permission to share the images of the triptych too. I have been asked several times for a print of the original painting, and whilst I do not have prints for sale, I am happy to share the original high-res images with someone if they want to get a print done themselves. For a small admin fee of only 25.00€ I can send the images via wetransfer for you.
I can also recommend Galeria XXI in Portimão for printing. They completed both the stunning panel prints you can see below for customers, who were delighted with the quality and size of the finished pieces.
You can visit their website via this link: Galeria XXI