Client Visuals

(Part 3/Working it out/Visuals/Client visuals)

Exercise – Client Visuals

I have chosen three paintings for this exercise.

The first picture is a poster, a commissioned piece of work for the couple who are portrayed. The original is acrylic on canvas and is 5’ x 3’. The brief for this work was to include the couple and their 3 dogs. They wanted the golf course, which they own to be the setting and Ingleborough, their favourite hill was needed in the background.

The two paintings below, were used in the CAT course which I did last year. They were the discussion point in an essay about re appropriated images.

The left hand one is by Monet and is one of his waterlily pictures painted in the garden an Giverny.

The third picture is by Banksy and he has re appropriated the Monet original to comment on the environment and possibly social differences et al.

I have a postcard copy of the poster (10cm x 15cm = approx 25% of an A4 sheet)) and the images below appeared at a third of a sheet of A4 as they are seen here.

I will therefore work at A4 size for the first picture and 66% of a sheet of A4 for the square ones.

I have cut the poster down so that only the illustration is visible. Then I have scaled up the postcard to half a page of my sketch book which is A3. So, the above quick sketches are representational of the finished painting.

The right hand very quick sketch is what might be used when talking to the client to make sure all the required elements are going to be included; themselves, their dogs, their golf course, Ingleborough.

At the same time it gives a sense of the composition which might be expected and demonstrates the order/importance of various elements.

Going in reverse (as per this exercise), the left hand sketch would come later in the conversation, it could be a ‘correction’/adaptation of the first sketch or a separate image developed through the interaction with the client. For example the wall has been added and there may have been discussion about the season required and whether the trees will be in leaf.

If the clients are satisfied with this, there might be further ideas developed or rejected, eg. Do they want golfers evident on the course, should distant buildings/ telegraph poles be included, left out, moved, elaborated etc.

Further detail about the dogs would follow and maybe individual sketches of the dog positions most suitable to the composition.

(When I actually did this work I did not use sketches. I created a series of photomontages for the clients which greatly helped them to ‘see’ what the finished painting would be like. While artists can quickly envisage a finished work many people really struggle to use their imagination.)

On the left is a copy of Monet’s Bridge picture as I used it in an assignment. That is the size. Above are two scaled up sketches showing the important features of the painting.

I believe, Monet was trying to show off his water lilies and bridge and their place in his beautiful garden. Therefore, the water lilies beneath the bridge are the most important aspect of this painting. However, their setting is equally important – all has to be seen to be a part of the garden. The gentle curved bridge and the water lilies (which transcribe a curve of their own) are the centre of our attention. They are complimentary. The rest is backdrop.

Having said that, the actual type of tree and position of leaf and branch is less  important than the feeling of being in a garden. He makes no attempt to include anything other than ‘greenery’ – there is nothing to fight for attention with the water lilies and the bridge. The trees and ferns, reeds and rushes all provide a backdrop to the lovely bridge and the flowers.

His use of texture and the vertical strokes which mark out the ‘greenery’ are  significant. They provide life and movement to compare with the stillness of the lilies ‘floating’ on the surface of the water and the totally static construction which floats above.

My sketches above show the main aspects of his composition while the rest is ‘in-fill’. It is a very symmetrical set with gentle curves suggesting the slow flow of the water while the plants all around grow vertically and show their movement in a different direction. This is hard to portray on the sketch images and is really the next stage in the development of a painting. As far as a potential client might have been consulted it would be the composition rather than the texture in the first few quick drawings.


This picture has an all together different raison d’etre even though so much of it is in common with the Monet picture.

The water lilies and the bridge have now taken second place. They have become the background to the real subject of the painting which is the detritus.

A couple of inverted shopping trolleys and a road cone have pride of place. Banksy has taken Monet’s setting and used it as a metaphorical background to his juxtapositioning of rubbish. He has used the painting to create a contrast of extreme proportions.

His motive is to attract attention and for the viewer to listen to (look at) his message. The brief is no longer to create peace and tranquility and a sense of pleasure in the contemplative setting. It is to shock, create a dissonance in the mood of the viewer, to shut, ‘look something here is wrong, what can we do, can this be overcome?’

As in any good painting he has followed the rules of composition cleverly placing his detritus in the classic triangular frame and front centre.

His brief was not anarchical, it was constructive and clear – use the establishment to show the difference between the ‘perceived’ or ‘desired’ and the ‘visible’ reality of life.