Portrait commissions are tricky.
After struggling on a commissioned portrait for five months, yesterday, I decided to start over from scratch. Five hours later, this is what was left on the canvas.
So, does all the time that I spent on the first painting count toward the completion of this one, because I've been thinking and painting and planning all along and working through internal conflict and debate over how to paint this person?
On top of that, it's not what was asked for when I was commissioned. The patron wanted something very specific, and this is not it. The subject of the painting hated this reference photo, and asked me to PLEASE not use it. But I think she looks beautiful here. Her delightfully winning personality shows in this painting (in my humble opinion.) She's quick to laugh, highly intelligent, loving and giving, and as if that wasn't enough, she's sexy and beautiful.....I adore her.
The Amazing Reese just asked if I was going to put a photo of the first portrait up for comparison purposes, so you, gentle reader, could visualize exactly what was creating all the artistic fuss. Looking back through the photos on the camera card, I noticed an earlier incarnation of the painting in question...before I repainted it again and again AND AGAIN, and that was at least the second re-painting at that point! Reese and I see beauty in both paintings and can't decide whether or not it looks better in the-three-re-paintings-ago-state than it does now.
So, in order to give the patron exactly what they asked for in the beginning, I guess I'll re-paint the first portrait ONE MORE TIME, and then let them chose between the two portraits.
To completely finish this painting, I'll let it dry for a week or so, and then go back and do a minimal amount of touch up on the eyes, mouth, and nose, just to slightly tweak it in order to confirm, for the viewer and patron, the full resemblance, in spirit and truth, to this beautiful (sexy) lady.