A few months ago, a former graphic design client of mine asked me to do a traditional painting for her, something she could give away as a present. She had been on a long trip to the Mediterranean, and wanted to repay her hosts with something more than just a “thank you” card.
I thought it would be a good challenge, and something that I might learn a lot from, so I said yes. This would be something radically different from my normal works. No monsters, nothing creepy. In fact, it needed to be bright, inviting, and quite detailed in the accuracy of both the region and the yacht that carried them for the week.
After a few fleeting ideas of having a big Cthulhu coming out of the ocean, or devils on top of the cliffs (a la Gustave Dore), I settled down and decided on what to do. Luckily, she had dozens of reference photos of the areas she’d been, especially in the Corsica area of the Mediterranean, and that helped a great deal.
This would not only be a unique, different style of piece for me, but also, at 20″ x 30″, the largest traditional media painting I’d ever attempted.
After buying the canvas and some new supplies, I started work on it. I managed to take quite a lot of pictures as I went, to track progress and for my own enjoyment, and they are compiled below, start to finish, in this video:
Below is also the final image of what it looks like, and it was a fun project to try. Of course, as with all things, there are ideas I might have explored. But in the end the client liked it, and, just as importantly, the people they gave it to liked it as well.
Here’s the finished piece, Selene at Bonifacio, as well as the piece framed and some closeups: