Describing My Plan

I do a lot of commisioned work which, if the subject matter is a good fit for me, can be a really creative process. I am in the beginning stages of a fun little still life for a client based on her trips to Bejing, China. As I was emailing her I thought that it might be interesting to copy and paste my response; the way I try to describe my plan. Because, of course, when you commision a work, you never know exactly what it is going to turn out like...





"Attached is a sketch for the proposed painting and one of your photos which I used as a source. I cropped the photo into a square format.
The sketch with all the written colors is the one I would like to go with. Hopefully it is fairly easy to understand. I turned the black tea pot in the centre so that the spout faces lower right. I feel like this helps to direct the eye throughout the composition, creating an arc shape. I also removed the gold colored bowl (basket) in the lower level, creating empty space/negative space which gives the eye a place to rest. I also think, because there are so many round shapes, having this irregular, flat shaped empty area will create good contrast and help define the round shapes even more--making them more round. (On a side note, this idea that empty space is necessary to define the positive is called Wabi Sabi in Asian art and is fitting for this piece, don't you think?)

I love the color of the rust teapot at the top and would like this central tea pot to be complimentary, perhaps olive, golden or a variation on the rust. I feel if it were to remain dark grey as in the photo to would read too much as a "black hole", too close to center in your painting, and will suck the eye in. The compositional goal is to move the eye around the piece. The tea pot that is just slightly out of the composition on the right side will remain grey, but I plan to incorporate undertones of eggplant (similar to your dining room wall color) to help balance out the neutrality of it and warm it up a bit."

I chose this image because of the clumping of like shapes and the combination of ariel view which you liked and the 3/4 views which I liked. I think it is just ambiguous enough to hold your interest and peak curiosity, but representational enough to recognize these as tea pots and bowls."

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