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Happy April dear friends and art lovers!

I'm excited to share with you in this newsletter a look into how I create a commissioned painting, specifically my most recent oil painting tilted "Anahita" for a client in the United Kingdom.  

In teaching at the Anima Mundi School in Amsterdam, Netherlands (through Zoom all the way from a farm in Kansas thanks to technology haha), I was connected to a wonderful lady whose name is also Anahita and we shared the story of the mythical Anahita together in the course study who is known as a Persian Goddess connected to the elements of water (rivers, rainstorms, winds) as well as fertility and wisdom. 
"She is freedom, warrior, protectress, life increasing, and All Mother".

This is a well-known statue of her below holding the 2 lions:


My Creative Process 
When I begin a piece, the most important elements I gather from the client are the image ideas, color palette, size, and story elements that they would like to be expressed through the piece.  From there, I can determine what medium would work best, whether it be oil, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, etc. and based on the above information, come up with a cost and time schedule that works for both myself and my client. 

I begin the sketches, many times in digital format using Photoshop as I can show ideas in color very quickly.  We go through a process of refining the idea through various iterations and ideas until we come to the final composition that brings everything together in perfect harmony, like music :)  


These images show some of my process:

Initial idea: quick hand sketch while talking with my client to gather the color ideas and concepts. I then created many Photoshop images and revisions for her as well to get the final composition.
1st stage:  tonal wash (yellow ochre here) to bring warmth to the entire painting as well as laying in a quick sketch in oil for the composition and blocking in some color.
2nd stage:  more color blocking to find color harmony in the composition.
3rd stage:  details beginning in the figure and lions as well as surrounding landscape.
I like to work the entire image at once instead of finalizing just the face or background for instance,  so that all elements feel connected and the colors are harmonized.
From here, there is a process of refining: adding more detail, balancing colors, integrating elements, and going deeper into the story of the piece where I connect with the characters to bring them to life. This is the part I love, because it's where the magic really happens!  I always say that a piece isn't finished until I see the sparkle in the eyes of the creation I'm working on :)

Below are some details from the painting:
I then varnish the painting after a few months of drying time which varies depending on the climate/ temperature as well as the thickness of paint.

And here she is...the final painting!
"Anahita"  18" x  24" oil on linen panel with gold leaf detailing.

If you would like to watch a short 2 min. video of "Anahita" from start to finish including varnishing,  you can check it out here on my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0EBoPwLMQA  

It has been a pleasure to share my creative process and a look into how I create a commissioned painting.  I hope that I might have the honor of collaborating together on a special piece for you in the near future!

If you have further questions, you can have a look at my website page "Commissions" for more details here: 
https://www.laurakrusemark.com/commissions.html

And /or I would love to hear from you, even better :)


I'm looking forward to sharing more creations + updates with you again next month!


Sending Anahita's blessings of wisdom, abundance, and freedom to you!

Laura Krusemark 


http://www.laurakrusemark.com/

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Laura Von Krusemark - Artist · 325 1/4 N. Alexandria Ave · Los Angeles, CA 90004 · USA

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