A while ago I did a commission of a drawing with watercolor of a cottage and it had the challenge of being the biggest detailed drawing I had ever done. Indeed, when I started as an urban illustrator I draw on a letter size Sketchbook . When an “angel” on my way suggested me to paint them larger in order to sell them, growing in size and thinking about selling them was a difficult issue for me…. the eye and the hand tend to be familiar with one size and to change it is like going from a city car to a sub …. it cost me to grow to my current size (that is only 35 x 50 cm.) Imagine then what challenge was for me to do this great work that measures 70 x 100 cms with pure detail.
Well , I went to see the place of the Cottage and after several sketches of different angles I began to develop a work that went through various stages and that took a while … certainly for those who do not draw, drawing is a gift. But the gift without a lot of work does not go anywhere . As I said, I had to go to the site and make a sketch after another until I found the view that the customer liked. Then I transferred this sketch to the actual size and to professional waterolor paper and started drawing all elements and details , like leaves and shingles … the goal was to achieve a work as close to reality because the owner had sold the property and wanted to remember it. Hoping that the work fulfilled that need I drew everything I saw in that place , including a dog sleeping in a chair in the corridor ….
It is difficult to make commissions …. is difficult because owe can not reach and draw what we like or what makes sense to the heart. No… the customer dreams of something but really do not know what that something is. And it is a risk to make a work to which we put all possible professionalism, we work long hours and harshly criticize forever better. Many times the reception of the customer is much better than expected, it has happened to me most of the time – thankfully – even the customer found it much better than me ( I tend to be extremely critical of my work and find that it is never good enough ) but sometimes this isn’t the way things happen. And we will never know exactly why the customer was not satisfied because, as in the case of this water-colour , he expected it slightly smaller in the land area in front of the house and in all the corrections we make I never understood that …. the good thing is that the problem was easily solved by simply cutting the rectangular area and making the hole painting a bit more rectangular and the customer bought the painting without problems. But it is so cute when the customer feels joy about my work and in this case although the beauty of this work and all the love I put into each line I felt sad about the situation. Anyway, that’s life and this work is also a life lesson because sometimes a small problem doesnt let us see the wonder of our life.
And this was a great learning experience … from this commission I learned that I have to make as much possible corrections through multiple emails. This method has proved to deliver that wonderful situation in which the client is delighted and thanks me for doing something so beautiful.