How did I create a commissioned piece for a lady inspired by stone?

Unusual things can inspire people to commission a painting and as an artist it is my job to join the dots of an idea and connect them up to make it happen. I loved the idea that a lady wanted a painting, inspired by an elegant stone wall mounted pot. She had seen the simple female head sculptured pot, during one of her visits to a garden and asked for me to create it into a life-like portrait.  


A picture of the clients narrow boat home; 'Queenie'

A picture of the clients narrow boat home; 'Queenie'

Collecting ideas

The client and I focused on how she wanted the final look to 'feel' in her small narrow boat space. I worked directly from the original photograph taken by her friend and photographer by Violet Greaves. One of the ways I paint, is applying rustic stone skin to warmly underlay my portraits. It was a process of adding some necessary blue and warm highlights to the cheeks and lips of the woman's profile to make her the desired life like effect; as if it were a portrait of a real person.

After playing around with the composition of some of the flowers, we decided to keep the background very plain so as not to make the piece over complicated. We were also working to a budget and so the time frame of the work defined the method of painting. For this reason I worked with a grid to get the small feature and placing of the flowers more perfectly aligned.


staying in touch

The client and I spoke about the painting as she began to take shape and I was able to listen and adjust some things as it progressed. This was mainly to do with the background colours and how to balance the depth of image with keeping it light, so the focus remained on the delicate features of the face.



Special words from the client:

"I have loved Charlotte's work since I first saw her Long Lady's collection a few years ago. I was sure I would never be able to afford to commission a original oil painting for myself but through discussion with Charlotte, she has captured precisely what I wanted at an affordable price. I absolutely love it! It is something I will treasure forever. " Ms D Milward, Manchester
CommissionsNora Zimerman