This evening I was reflecting on a price quote from a friend that I received on Facebook today, and I decided that I would share my custom art process to take some of the mystery out of it. I’m hoping that writing this post will help me to do a better job of explaining my process to prospective collectors, should the opportunity arise so I won’t feel at a loss for words. Here is a copy of my Art of Schmidt custom art brochure with my three step process. I start by meeting with a free consultation with a prospective client to discuss their vision for their pet portrait and to review the photos that they bring depicting their pet. I usually ask the client to bring 2-4 photos of their pet for my review. If we decide to work together after discussing terms, such as the medium was chosen, size of the work, deadlines, and signing a contract which requires a 50% deposit of the total custom art price, I get to work on a three value sketch to determine the composition of the piece and the lights and darks with pencil and sketching paper
I usually make 2-3 sketches for the client to review, either in person or via email, depending on their preference.
Once the sketch has been approved, I move on to the second step, which I call the color sketch. In this step, I play with color choices to continue to design the painting. Although I use photos as a starting point, I am not a slave to the photo, especially if the colors represented in it do not work together harmoniously. One technique I like to use in designing color schemes is to go to Lowes and look at paint chip samples in the paint department. These are free and work well for me as I can limit the colors to just a few choices. I create the color sketch in colored pencil or acrylic paint, making 2-3 versions and ask for the clients’ review. Throughout this process, I maintain contact with the client to build trust and work collaboratively, so that they feel that the work is made especially for them. The final product is executed in oil paint or acrylic paint, or even pastel, depending on what medium the client likes best.Thanks for looking!