French village work in progress

The weather's been great here lately, but I haven't had much of a chance to do any plein air painting because I've been working on a large commission. I'm not sharing that today because I want to "unveil" it to the client first, but I'm doing a happy dance that it has reached a state of completion that I am satisfied enough with to present it. 

All clients are special, but this particular client commissioned me to create a commemorative piece in memory of a beloved family member. This client is a lovely lady and so very sweet and kind, and the sense of pressure I felt for "getting it right" has been all mine. 

Often times  when I have labored over a large or involved project, there is no better palette cleanser than painting a new small canvas, fast and fresh, of a completely unrelated subject. 


I almost always seem to forget to photograph the painting after I paint the shadow patterns, but before adding the sunlit areas. Oh well, this is close. I didn't have time to finish yesterday because it was getting late when I started it and I had to pick up my daughter. I like this stage though, because if you get the majority of the shadow areas down in the beginning, you really see the potential and the armature it provides to the design.