A Proposal of Epic Proportions / by Angela Bandurka

One of my very favourite artists, Michele Usibelli, recently did paid me a great compliment when she recommended me to a client for a commission that she was unable to work into her schedule. The client, Kevin, wanted to propose to his girlfriend at the Seattle Art Museum (within a month or so) and he wanted to have it set up as a "Special Event" that would feature a painting of him proposing to his girlfriend in the space where the painting was sitting.

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The first step of this process was to send some sketches - I wanted to see if the client preferred having the space be the "hero" or have the couple themselves as the main feature. In the end he wanted to highlight the space and make the two of them be more of an added bonus.

After the sketch was selected, I sent Kevin my price list with my suggestions for aspect ratios (how tall versus how wide) and he selected 18x14-inches for the final piece.

I ordered the canvas, then prepped it with a thin coat of light molding paste, which dried fully before it was covered with a mix of clear gesso and yellow and iridescent gold paint for a warm, bright underpainting.

Next, Kevin and I met in at SAM with a female friend of theirs for a photo shoot. Since I never did get to meet his beautiful girlfriend, he sent me photos of her that I could use to put her in there.

And then, the painting commenced. I used my iPhone 6's Time Lapse video feature to record the process of painting this piece, which occurred over the span of a week or so. I edited all those little in-progress videos using Adobe Premiere Pro and laid in some free stock music.

After presenting a first proof of the painting, Kevin had three minor edits to it and when completed, finished off the edges of the canvas with black paint, I varnished the piece, and strung hardware on the back for hanging. The last step was to deliver the painting.

On April 8th, I delivered the piece to the staff at SAM. They set it up the following day and the proposal happened at 6pm on April 9th, 2015. 

I wish them all the luck in the world as they move forward with their lives together, and am so honoured to have been a part of this amazing wedding proposal!

Click on this image to see it full size.