All about my "Paul Smith" inspired Zebras

Hey everyone! Since my commitment to Alice Wotton Art I got the MOST exciting Commission enquiry! I'm going to take you through the exact process from discussing the commission to delivering it! This will hopefully give some insight to you if you are interested in a commission piece of art, but have no idea where to start!

This Zebra commission started by having a discussion with the client regarding where this piece of art will be installed, due to being in a pandemic I couldn't visit the clients house, however I was sent a photo of the wall space where the client wanted the painting, after seeing this I was able to provide some size suggestions that would work well with the area. This is a vital detail when confirming a commission, as having a canvas either too small or too big for the space can ruin the overall look. The wall space was fairly large so we decided to go with a 1 meter by 80cm canvas. Once the size of the piece was determined I focused more on the artwork. In some cases clients may not no exactly what they would like, so this is where I would normally give my expertise and provide some inspiration and ideas, however this particular client gave me a strong concept to work with which was great!

The concept: The client really wanted an adult Zebra next to its baby, with the baby being in "Paul Smith" style colours. I had some material to refer to which helped me piece this painting together. This included an image of a Paul Smith Phone case which had his famous multicoloured stripes on, this provided me with the perfect colour palette to work from for the baby zebra. I also found an image from Pinterest which showed both an adult zebra and baby together which helped me layout the zebras on to canvas.

Once the general concept was confirmed and both client and I were on the same page we also discussed the background colour of the canvas. This piece was not going to be framed so we opted for a seamless finish using the exact same colour on the clients wall. In this case it was -142 Mushroom - from The Little Greene Paint Company.

Once the commission was given the go ahead I started the piece, now in this case the concept was so strong and the client was very happy for me to crack on with the painting, however in some cases if the client feels undecided on colours, etc I can provide some colour palettes to help confirm the exact colours. Along with this I can also provide an initial sketch, this initial drawing is normally done in a mixed media, loose, expressive style, as this is created just for the purpose of displaying the composition.

Please see below for some process pictures of the zebra commission. This commission took on average 45 hours to complete.

Process of painting

During the painting process I sent photos of close up sections of the piece to update the client. I ideally do not like sending a whole photo of an unfinished piece to a client because paintings change with every layer! Once the piece was complete I did send a whole picture, and the client was in LOVE! My client was based relatively close to me so I delivered the painting straight to her house! It was like a big reveal - it was so exciting and SO rewarding!

Pleased see below for the final photos of the Zebras!

Finished painting

This image conveys the scale of the painting.

I really loved creating this painting and it filled me with so much inspiration. The strong concept from the client has since inspired my work. So thank you Debbie!

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