It's been years since I last said YES to a commission. Not that people ask me every day. No, but it happens. And I have been saying "no". But this time I felt fine about it. It was time. I like the idea of working with a deadline that someone but me, has put on me.
I started as usual, by meeting the person I am to paint and taking a bunch of relaxed pictures of her. Then I played with the pictures in Photoshop, deciding on the composition and on the background for the portrait.
One of the more stressful moments that I used to have when painting portraits, were when I thought I had come a long way, but still did not know how to paint the background. It is so, so important for the picture as a whole! And truth is, (atleast for me) painting a big, solid surface is not as easy as one may believe. Quite the contrary. This time, and last time (about four years ago) I stared instead by painting the background — and then I continued with the rest. It seems like a good strategy. So, dear friend, please wish me luck as I paint this portrait!