Sunday, April 21, 2013
Michael has Left the Building...
...and he has taken the dragon with him! My latest commission was a real challenge for me because it involved imagination, but also some knowledge of the story of Michael the archangel and the 7-headed dragon. The client didn't want me to follow the story exactly, which made it a little easier. But it has been a long time since I created a dragon, and I was a little rusty. I did a lot of research, both on dragons, and archangels, and my client did as well. I borrowed some of the background for the dragon from Raphael's version.
Michael was a little easier for me as he was more in keeping with my specialty, portraits. My client didn't want the typical image of Michael that you see in Raphael's depiction or that of many other artists. She had very specific ideas, the main one being she wanted him in Medieval-style armor, descending from Heaven rather than fighting the dragon on the ground, as I had him doing in my original sketch. I borrowed Michael's pose from a version by Esther Sanz. So above, right, is the final image.
This was one of the most intense commissions I've ever had. At times I felt completely out of my realm and overwhelmed by the enormity of the project. I believe there was some divine intervention, however, when my darling studio cat, Gracie, decided to leap onto my palette, which skidded out from under her, knocked over the water bucket, sending the bucket, brushes and water crashing to the floor. Although none of the dirty water landed on the painting, it did splash everywhere else, including all the drawers of my caddy, so not only did I have to stop to mop the floor, I also had to remove everything from the drawers and dry them. I know God was watching over either me, the cat or both!
And now I move on...here's what's currently on the easel: This is Tara, a beautiful yellow lab. It feels good to get back to painting pets!