I usually don't post works in progress since to my eye they must look rather like a train wreck to an outside observer. However in this case I am making an exception. Also this gives me a chance to discuss commission with all my watchers. FYI.
Over the last year or more many of my watchers on both DA and FA have inquired whether I was taking commissions and I have stated that I was not. That has been primarily because my day job has been leaving very tired and when I get home I've had no energy to finished art. However there has been another reason for not wanting to taking new commissions.
When Backbreaker Studios the company Smudge and I started along with a couple friends in 2000 failed at the end of 2007 we were very lucky that we didn't go into bankruptcy. However the whole fiasco had put a terrible amount of stress on our relationship. It was one of those make or break moments for us. Fortunately through lots of hard work and a healthy dose of good luck we overcame the challenge and came out of debt in 2010. However the whole ordeal had left me with some insidious side effects.
The whole experience had a real blow to me and for while it was all I could do just to keep sketching, and the thought sitting down in the studio and producing finished art was very unappealing. What was worse I still had several outstanding commissions that I needed to finish. But every time I tried to start one of them I found myself making excuses for why couldn't do it. Eventually I realized that I had developed a rather Pavlovian response to art. In particular doing art for other people.
Since I was a little kid art was something I could turn to when the world knocked me down. It was my anchor, my source of comfort when I needed an escape. However suddenly I felt as if art was the thing that was putting so much stress and pain into my life. It was an entirely new concept and I had no idea of how to confront it. In fact it took several years before I could admit to anyone. Even Smudge. The rational side of my head said this was not true but that did not make the pain go away when I sat down at the drawing table.
Finally I have been able to push through this and several other issues in my life, The Equestria dreamscape has been a great help, but I still had several outstanding commissions that needed completing. This is last of my old commissions and I have refused to take anymore new work until I wiped the slate clean and fulfilled the last of my old responsibilities to my old clients.
This commission is years late and the client has had the patience of a saint through all of this. I can not thank him enough for waiting and I'm striving to make this piece worth his wait. The piece is a 1944 German airfield scene and in many ways it is the most researched piece of art I have ever done. As you can see it is still under production, but I thought some of my watchers would find some aspects interesting. I often talk about my work being mixed media, but here you can see how the different materials are employed. In particular the two closest figures in the foreground. I have not done any colored pencil on them but you can see how I have blocked in the under coloring with the water-based markers and technical pen line work. Also I usually work from the most distant forward, so I did the sky first, then I did distant landscape. Then the background buildings and figures and so on. It is also a large piece for me being about 16"x 24".
Over the next couple weeks I will begin posting some of the development sketches I have done with this piece and talking more depth about how I go about taking a commission. Also I will be posting guidelines and opening up my commission docket. Note. I will only be taking a small number when I do open up my docket, and pestering me to take on more than I feel comfortable will not help your cause.