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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Portrait, Landscape, and other Commissions

A Commission by April M Rimpo

I don't talk a lot about doing commissions since I have so many ideas for my own to painting, but I find when someone approaches me for a commission that it ends up being a great experience. If you have an idea for a commission let me know and we can see if I can create a great memory for you. Most commissions I've done have been given as gifts to a family member. Consider a gift of art.

I've done portraits of people, as you see above, and also portraits of favorite vacation spots which can be images of sunsets, cityscapes or landscapes.  I like trying to get a sense of the people or of the place before I start and it's important for me to understand what the person requesting the painting likes about my artwork (e.g., which are their favorite paintings of mine). This helps me understand what style they are looking for in the painting.  We also talk about color scheme. I evaluate the reference photographs to see if the image quality is sufficient for me to be able to see the details and colors well enough to produce a good painting. 

The portrait above is in watercolor. I knew I wanted to be able to lift colors in the hair to produce the glint of the sunlight and to have wisps of hair blowing in the breeze. Having been painting more with fluid acrylic than watercolor for the last year I was most concerned about getting the background nice rich browns and burnt orange with touches of blue and turquoise. Watercolor dries lighter than it looks when wet, while fluid acrylic does not fade as much, so you have to adjust for that.

I figured if I could get the background right the rest would be fine.  I know some artists start with the faces because they find those the hardest part. I've painted enough people that I don't worry too much about getting the people right.

I did a practice run of the background on a scrap sheet of paper which came out fine. So I went ahead, masked the edges of the hair, then painted the background using primarily Daniel Smith's Quinacridone Burnt Orange and French Ultramarine Blue. For the lighter browns I incorporated some Quinacridone Coral. To complement the turquoise necklace I used some Pthalo Turquoise and Pthalo Blue. 

Unfortunately, when the background was dry it was lighter than I wanted, so I had to get up the courage to give it a second coat.  I re-wet the paper using a hake brush that I knew would not disturb the first coat of paint, then added more pigment using the same colors from the first coat, less the Quinacridone Coral. It came out just like I wanted, so I could now relax and paint this beautiful woman and her daughters.  

The husband gave the painting as a gift to his wife and daughters, who are now in their late teens. Upon receipt the feedback from the husband was "fantastic", which was great to hear.  I'm looking forward to hearing his family's reaction.

Painting places excites me as much as painting people. Here you can see some of the commissions I've done of places and a portion of a commission of an old family truck. I enjoyed creating each of these.

    Commissioned Paintings

At the top is a DC street scene, next a family at their favorite camping site, a family's '52 Chevy truck, view of San Francisco Bay. All were great projects. The three landscapes were for people that I didn't know before the commission.  Each allowed me to create a special place in their life. What an honor.

You can see the '52 Chevy Truck and learn more about that commission by following this link.

If you're interested in a portrait commission I can do these in a variety of styles. Samples of portraits I've done using different approaches can be seen here.

To read about my commission process take a look at this commission blog.

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Contact April and see more of her art on her website  
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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.



  1. Wonderful painting April! You really nailed this one. :-)

    1. It was a good sign when the photo sent to me took by breath away and then the husbands comment on my digital sketch was that it made him tear up.

  2. Fabulous portrait! I am sure they will enjoy their painting as much as we have enjoyed ours.

    1. So glad you are still enjoying your painting, Kristin. Say hi to Richard for me.

  3. I can understand why you receive so many commissions! This is just stunning!!

    1. Thank you, Chris. I always get a little nervous when someone approaches me about a commission, but when I saw the photograph I really wanted to paint them.

  4. Gorgeous work, really love the background!

    1. Thank you, Sheila. You know how the background can be the hardest part.


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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