I recently finished a large commissioned painting and I wanted to share the process of how the piece was developed and executed.

Since it was a commissioned piece, the concept was something I discussed and worked out with the client beforehand. We talked about what she was looking for, elements she liked and might want to include, and I started from there.

The finished piece is done in oils on a birch panel, with areas of exposed wood, acrylic and ink, 36×48 inches.

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Before I get into the progress shots, here’s the finished product, I was really excited to be done with it!

It’s a commissioned painting, so before starting working on it, I discussed all the details with the client

I wanted to leave the raw wood of the panel exposed under the sort of swirl patterns, so the first step was to mask those areas with tape

I masked out huge areas, projected the designs over it and traced with marker, then cut out the shapes with an exacto knife

Later I gessoed the whole thing with several layers and sanded the surface smooth and sketched again to get everything in place

You can see my print-out of the reference from DeviantArt I was using when I began painting

I tend to work small areas at a time and then at the end I go back over areas that need more work

After the painting was done, I still had to take that tape off

You have no idea how badly I wanted to rip that tape off at various points during the process, it was like an itch I couldn’t scratch

Then I began to outline the shapes with a thin line of acrylic just inside the painted edges

Here’s the finished piece which was delivered to its new home just a few days ago