A Triceratops and a T-rex
from beginning to end
With this diptych, I’d like to show some of the process that goes into a commissioned work.


First, the final pieces and then, some of the process.
Client Interaction

To give you some insight into the project from beginning to end, I’ve included excerpts from interaction emails (i.e. Facebook messages) with the client and progress shots along the way.

From the client:


[My wife] and I need a dinosaur or two for our son's wall. Do you think you would be able to create either a painting or some sort of a cutout that we could paste to a piece of wood? We need a triceratops and a t-rex. I would like it to be maybe three feet by three feet.

I would like the dinosaurs to be good for an infant, yet cool enough for a kid in elementary school. The book "Where the Wild Things Are" is a cool style, so is X-men, but Precious Moments enough to keep the wife happy.


I thought it was really cool that even though I didn’t have any previous pieces specifically for kids in my portfolio, the client saw the potential in my art for this type of work.

Along with working out the budget, I responded with some initial questions to get things rolling. We narrowed it down to two paintings on 36” x 36” canvases and no wooden cut-outs. Since I live in southern Louisiana and the client in Dallas, these will have to be shipped; we ruled out anything wooden, in part due to shipping cost. I was also sent to images to base the color palette on.

 These are the sketches upon which my final work is derived
Process

My process for these paintings is as follows:

1. make original sketches
2. make layered drawings on tracing paper
3. scan in multiple drawings
4. assemble in photoshop
5. print final piece in sections
6. prepare printouts for transfer
8. apply underpainting to canvas
7. transfer prints to canvas
9. paint canvas
10. apply finish
One of the original underpaintings
 Triceratops printouts ready to be transferred
The transfer process that I prefer is a messy one. In short, one prints out a mirrored image from a laser jet printer, coats it with an acrylic medium (basically acrylic paint with no pigment), then wets the printout, and applies it to the canvas by rubbing the paper off of the ink! It is a long, drawn out process. Many artists (everyone but me?) who use this technique, use it to apply found images or photographs the artist has taken. I use it to apply my own drawings.
 Tri-tops mid-transfer
sketch, scan, print, paint, apply, paint