Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fun of Commissions (Gertie)

I realize that I have shared a few commissions with you but I am not sure that I have discussed them in length in the creation.

Commissions are gained either by being a request from a patron that has your work already or a patron that sees you at a show or online, I have a small sign in my booth at shows. Often they have an animal or even a business that they would like reflected as a desktop because of their love of a particular animal or wanting to depict  their business in their office.

The commission that I recently finished was for a couple that had a few of my pieces already so we had formed a relationship. This piece, "Gertie" was of a black and tan coonhound and it was easy to fall in love with the subject she was so sweet.

During the next seven months the journey from start to finish was interrupted slightly with my back surgery but usually commissions take that long anyway if not longer especially because there are other entities involved that take at least two months of that time. If you are an artist you always have to remember once your wax is poured and cleaned you have to draw an outline of the bronze for the base and show where pieces extend over like for instance the front feet or neck or tail then you can design the wooden base you are using to place under the subject. This particular one was of walnut but I have included stone in combination of larger pieces such as Refuge in the Wetlands...go to http://www.peggycampbellanimalsinbronze.com to check it out.

Naturally the first step is to view and acquaint yourself with the dog and take as many pictures as possible to give you accuracy and also see the dog move and interact. I took measurements to back up and reinforce the visual references that way you have two sources. I ended up taking over 200 pictures and even returned for more pictures when I got to details like the paws and nostrils and color pattern. A black and tan has a very distinct pattern all over their body and I fell in love with Gertie's ears.

When you begin your clay you need to make sure you are building on a solid armature that will not shift or move after mold is placed. As you work you want to allow patrons access to this piece (it is their piece) so that they can be a part of the creating, they become your best source for details as they love this animal and have lived with this animal 24/7 and know every little detail literally by heart. This is an area where you can not have a thin skin, listen to them not your ego.

This is what I meant as having very distinct markings typical of coonhounds.
 Even their faces are very defined.  Believe it or
not most of the markings were an echo of what the other side mirrored.
Beautiful markings!

This was the final position chosen by the patrons with the exception of my turning her head slightly as though she were looking to the left (one thing I have learned through the years is that you never want a piece of sculpture to look stiff and looking straight on, it ruins the piece and gives it an elongated look.) Turning head slightly gives it life.


The most difficult part of this entire piece was the patina and getting the look that patrons wanted.


This is a close up showing some of the detail of Gertie even down to bone structure, collar, nose whiskers. You may not be able to show detail such as whisker hair but you leave the impression of the deep marking that give a distinct design to her muzzle.

This was an eight inch piece and perfect size, not too small to show details not too large for carrying or desktop


Thank you Art Castings and Deb Bakel for doing a great job.

Thank you Adam and Diana for giving me the opportunity to work with you and your family and hopefully if there is another artist or patron reading this they have a pet or animal they love and will give me the opportunity to work with them.

What Animal do You Love!