This commission is an art deco travel theme mural on canvas measuring approximately 3 x 4.25 feet.It began as a proposed mural to be painted directly on a wall, but after talking to the customers, we decided that doing this on canvas was a better option for them. Below is the finished product -
Here's a step-by-step on its creation:
My clients emailed me a picture that they really liked, pictured below. They wanted it to be pretty much the same except to use a stylish 1939 Duesenberg for the automobile, make the ship more prominent (the famous Normandie, of course) and use the Chrysler building to replace the non-descript tower in the original.
Next comes the colors. The clients were not sure if they wanted to keep the original warm colors or make the painting cooler. Below are the two variations I did, which was quick and easy to do in Photoshop.
Ultimately the warm palette was chosen, though with modifications - my clients already owned a print of the classic "Musician" by Tamara De Lempicka and they wanted the blues to match up. So I picked up their picture to bring home to my studio. I then did a little trial and error to get the right paint mixture to match the cooler blues in the Lempicka -
The swatch above is held up against the Lempicka painting to compare tones.
Once I was satisified I had the blues correct, I printed the line drawing out on a transparency and used an overhead projector to draw it onto the canvas. I then start painting. Below I have the painting next to the Lempicka to show how nicely matched the blues are now:
Now it's just a matter to start painting in the warm sections of the artwork. Of course, since I made the blues much cooler than in the original, I had to cool down the warm colors as well. Below is a shot of the artwork after getting the "easy" parts of the warms in:
I leave the more important and complex elements for last. For the ship, I use the classic Normandie poster below as the basis for my ship. An important alteration to this image is changing the light source from the left side of the image to the right side, to make it correspond to the light direction in the rest of the painting. My customer also wanted the mast removed, which I agree was a good move.
Below is the perfect photo of a 1939 Duesenberg that I used:
Since the face of the woman in the original image is really tough to make out, I basically created her face myself:
And once again, here's the finished product:
Hope you enjoy!