Commission from Photo: Wedding Venue in Colorado

The finished commission, 24×18″, acrylic on stretched canvas
I finished a commission from photos of a wedding venue in Colorado, adding the final touch-ups and varnish yesterday. This scene had a lot of aspects going for it, a strong focal point with the lodge, the walkway to the left along the lake directing the viewer to the lodge and the distance with the background mountains. However, this painting was a tougher challenge than first expected because of something I overlooked in the photo; no shadows. The photo was taken with the sun directly behind the photographer. It’s was a great shot, but shadows give the illusion of an object being 3-dimensional for the painter to use. Everything looked flat, so it was an excellent way to learn alternative ways to show depth and form. Adding warmth to the foreground and cooling off the color with blues to the background gave a good sense of atmosphere. Overlapping the trees in front and behind others was a huge tool for front to back depth. To show roundness in the foreground trees, very subtle color shift were used to add the greatest warmth to the center and cool off the sides where the sky reflects more . Other tricks were to use the rocky places in the background mountain to form broken lines to indicate loosely an illusion of roundness. Similar to looking at a striped towel with folds, the stripes form curved lines leading the eye around the shapes. Fortunately, the client and her husband loved it. Now it’s being packed and it’ll be sent off to begin it purpose. I love it when the scene automatically connect the viewer to a great memory. 

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10 thoughts on “Commission from Photo: Wedding Venue in Colorado”

  1. Very nice! I live SW of the mountain town where this is at 🙂 It’s a beautiful spot and you captured it so nicely.

  2. Steve, it is absolutely beautiful! I have been following you for a couple of years. I am so impressed with your progress! I enjoy seeing your sketches & studies. Keep it up! You are an inspiration to me, and I am sure many others.
    On a side note there is a Stephen Williamson who was doing genealogy on the “Justice” family, could that be a relative of yours? I am a descendant of John Justice the son of Simeon Justice, from Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
    Barbara Cordell Carithers

      1. I finally found this page again. Thanks for asking your Dad! Your new piece- the waterfall in the park is very nice too!

  3. Dear Stevie

    I love the painting and the info—so do Mary and Taylor. She was here with me when it arrived in Omaha and Taylor sent a picture of it on the cell phone. Now send me the bill and correct mailing address.

    Love, Louise

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