Art process: Return with Honor Canvas

I get asked about my creative process, so I took some progress photos of this comissioned project.

The requestor is a great friend and she had specific instructions, teals, greys and browns, "Return with Honor" statement, and 11x14 canvas size.

I thought about that for a bit. I decided to add a compass and crown to the design, because she is LDS, and those items would fit well with her beliefs. I sketched out my idea to play with placement.

After the sketch was finished and approved, I decided on what to use for the background. I started the canvas with an background of acrylic paints, a mix of burnt umber and iridesent turqoise. I decided to incorporate a map in the background, and some papers to tie in the colors she requested. I arranged and distrisssed the papers and glued them down. I also incorporated a compass and compass rose into the background. I drew that on manila paper and then inked it to create depth and age on the piece.

While those elements dried, I sketched the crown onto paper, and built up the design with ink, pencil and markers. I fussy cut the final design. I also drew the heart and used colored pencils to build up the dimension of the heart. I played with laying out the elements, and decided I needed to make the statment.

I hand drew the words on cardstock, and distressed the pieces. upon placing them on the background, it was clear more depth was needed. I used gesso, acrylic paint and bubble wrap to add a layer of texture to the background. I smeared out the paint from the Utah on the map to highlight the state, and arranged the elements.

Everything started to meld, but the heart looked out of place, so I glued it and fussy cut a lighter background that I distressed. Everything was arranged, and glued down to create the finished piece.