Start to Finish: A Special Commission

I often do not document the entire process of an artwork. Often much of the progress happens rather fast, and I don’t want to stop to take photos. However, I recently was commissioned to create something very special. I wanted to document it to share the progress with the client, and felt it would be fun to share it with you as well!

The client had recently lost her grand-dog, and created a memorial for her with pictures, candles, and flowers. She approached me about painting an abstract piece in memory of her grand-dog in the colors of the flowers from her memorial. As a dog-mom, I loved this idea! The flowers were bright blues, greens, pinks, oranges, and yellows.

With some photos of the bouquet in hand, I researched the flowers, and found that they are called Crazy Daisies. They are white daisies cut and dipped in dyed water that the plant then soaks up to create the vibrant petals.

We decided on a 3’x3′ canvas size, in acrylic, that would display nicely in her apartment.

I proceeded to create a mood board with color inspiration, and a variety of textured and floral abstract painting styles. From there, the painting took about two months to paint and varnish. I would work on weekends, which gave it the weeks in-between to dry. The majority of the painting was painted in one day, on my dinning room floor with music playing, and my dog close by.

Below are a selection of images that document the process. Enjoy!

Mood Board
Mood board created on Pinterest. I use this platform for inspiration ALL THE TIME!
I began with painting the background in grey and white, with splashes of green and white to start the composition. I do not own an easel, so I worked on the floor.
I layered color after color in a variety of brush strokes.
I added in sections of blue for the eyes to have a place to rest, and to create depth.
Close up on some of the strokes.
The finished painting! This was before the varnishing process. One person said they actually see the shape of a dog in the painting – from behind with the head, backside, tail (off to the left), and foot (off to the right). *That is my baby yawning!*
I added an isolation layer using Golden Soft Gel Gloss. This layer creates a barrier between the painting and varnish. I tried to create a space (with open windows!) that was dusted and clean, but I still ended up tweezing off bits of dust.
I added two layers of Golden Polymer Satin Varnish with UV protection. Because I added an isolation coat, the varnish can be removed in the future if needed, and reapplied. The isolation coat and varnish are a preservation measure that helps extend the life and quality of the work.

It was incredibly fun to create this work, and experience working with acrylic again. I learned about preservation measures for acrylic paintings on canvas, and am excited to extend this care into my other work. As of today, the painting is off to its forever-home!

“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.” – Elsie de Wolfe


Lady Dame




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s