Painted Chest Project

Well the pet portrait is coming along but as you can see it isn't finished yet.
I've been focused on getting this chest underway for another client.
Based on what the clients told me they wanted (or liked) I zeroed in on an oriental theme.  They actually like several different styles but when they mentioned oriental being one of them and the Mr of this couple had mentioned to me before that he was having trouble keeping Koi fish in his pond (something had been snacking on them) I decided to go this route.
I started looking for images online and showed these to the clients to narrow things down.
They wanted a design that would cover the majority of the chest including the top.  We all like this tree.  Then I found these two gorgeous photos of a lily pond and knew I they were my inspiration for the lower part of the chest.

I put together a quick sketch and discussed more of the details with them and things were a go.
My first attempt to get this underway was aborted when the water based primer I normally use began to crackle as soon as it hit the wood.  I'd never seen that happen before on a stripped down piece of furniture and I hadn't a clue as to what kind of wood this was.....all I knew is that they bought it many years ago in Mexico and that over the years the previous artwork on it slowly flaked off.  Perhaps an untreated pine?.......I don't know, its very light weight.  Regardless I went out and got some shellac based primer and started over.  Two coats of primer and two coats of base coat and we're ready for the artwork.  That's my project for today.

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