I started out with the flowing leaves as follows.
Next was to work on the background. The client's thought was to have the concept of Autumn sky, clouds all flowing along with the leaves. I was imagining a lighter and airier blue flowing with implied cloud feel. I felt that since I did all the detail in the leaves with the technique I use the background should not be too heavy. To achieve this I used watercolor instead of oil paint as follows:
I took a good picture and added black to represent a frame. I liked the flow of the blue and how some color was scattered around to give a light, airy feel to it along with leaving white for cloud feel. The client was not happy, he wanted more color such as green. I was definitely confused at this point since the original concept was Autumn sky and cloud feel. I obliged and used green watercolor scattered around and flowing nicely with the blue. Client was still not happy. Apparently, they like my other paintings where I use a lot of bright color and more color.
I then proceeded to use oil for the background still sticking to the concept. I split the background design into 5 sections and added green. I also designed it like I do my glasswork to tie that in. Here is the painting in process, if you look closely in the area yet to paint over, the green that I added earlier can be seen.
Here is the completed painting.
I do like how it came together. The colors work well together, the leaves pop out. I like both the original concept as well as the final. I don't think I would do this again just because of the difficulty of trying to paint something the way the client imagines it. I find that as the years pass and the different things I experience or are going through really changes the way I see things and the way I may paint. The only way I think I would do this is with the total understanding that the way I am painting at that moment may be different than what has been and have a signed contract stating as much. Otherwise, I will stick to the glasswork being commissioned as it is much easier to give the client a good idea as to what it will look like.