08 Dec 2013
Tags: architectural art, Art, landscape, pen and ink, stained glass, streetscape
Little inked house
This has been a busy holiday season for me. I received commissions for 4 architecturals and one pet portrait in the last 6 weeks. I’m happy to say I’m starting on the last one.
But first, this. The father of the purchaser is selling his long time family home and his children wanted to give him a memento. As with the others, I unfortunately had difficulty with the photo quality. There was a line of trees directly in front so they had a hard time getting a shot which included the front door without using a wide angle lens. I ended up having to use a combination of a real estate listing photo and the the ones they took.
Black and white has its own difficulties compared with color. I have to indicate the shadows and even the tone of the house without the aid of the pastels and yet not make it too dark. I am still considering how to finish this. The house is a medium green with dark shutters. I want to show that it is not white without losing it all in the foliage. I haven’t decided, but maybe I’ll use a light grey wash.
I’d like to get this out tomorrow and get started on the last one. It’s a 14″ x 10″ color so it will take a bit more time than this one.
04 Dec 2013
Tags: architectural art, architectural rendering, architecture, Art, home portraits, pastel, pen and ink, streetscape
Th doctor’s office
I managed to send out this drawing today. My commission gifts purchasers this year have been so thoughtful in getting them ordered early so I have had a relatively easy time getting them out for the holidays.
This was more of a challenge than it appears. The stonework was a multicolor of off white, brown and grey. The gable shingles were a taupe and the siding (which came out white in the picture) was a very light shade of the taupe. The handicap parking was its own special blue. And then the sign. White or gold on black is doubly hard. Between my eyesight and my shaky hands on little letters, it was quite the effort. I finally went out and bought some small quill pens and white ink to redo the lettering.
On the best note, the woman I did the dog portrait for got it today and loved it. Hooray and whew at the same time. And I got another house commission yesterday. It’s just an 8×10 black and white so it will go quite quickly and I should have it out by next Monday. That’s good because I am supposed to get another 14×10 color in the next few days. This will be my best ever Christmas season since I opened my etsy store in 2010. That one I may have to rush a bit to keep ahead of the holiday postal crush, but I’m not worried yet. LOL
01 Dec 2013
Tags: architectural art, home portrait, pastel, pastel art, pen and ink, streetscape
The medical office building
After finishing the dog portrait, I moved on to the medical office commission. I had the same problem of too small photo file size from the client, but fortunately, one of the whole building was big enough to enlarge. I penciled in the basic layout from it and have had to use pictures still on the computer to finish the inking. I can do it that way but it is much harder having to turn to the side to look at the computer rather than a photo right on my board. I think I may try to get a white marker of sorts so I can make the works on the sign a bit clearer. White on black is so hard to delineate and the actual lettering size is quite small. Pastels up next so I can to have it in the mail on Wednesday.
27 Nov 2013
in artwork, pets
Tags: dog portrait, pen and ink, watercolor
All dressed up
I worked mostly on the dog portrait this week. I fiddled around for a long time on the pencil up because the pictures were not the clearest, but I think it turned out well. Black portraiture is so hard for me. Too little of the black and the subject looks grey. Too much and it’s all shadows and little delineation. Consequently, I was hesitant to start with the watercoloring. I am sure glad that I did those black cat portraits a few months ago. Finally, I just dove in. Fortunately, the picture had the added interest of the scarf to lighten all of that black. She said it was one of her favorite pictures and I can see why. I do use a small grid for the pencil up accuracy and then do most of the inking with a loose, light touch. When I am satisfied that there is enough delineation, I remove the grid so I can see the photo better and I erase the pencil guidelines. I rapidly add the watercolors, mostly daubing splotches here and there until I am satisfied that the essence of the animal is there. I don’t want to over do it and suddenly make it into a photo like representation. I’m not good enough for that. Light and loose seems to work the best for me in this case. Next up is the office building. She finally got back with a few more photos and details and I am inking it up now.
24 Nov 2013
Tags: architectural art, dog portrait, home portraits, pastel, pen and ink, pet portrait, streetscape, watercolor
Black dog commission
Amongst everything else that is going on, I have managed to pencil up the two commissions. The dog was especially hard because for some reason the file size only showed 2 kb when I saved it to my computer. The photo seemed big enough on the screen, but would only save as the small file. I am wondering if there is some technical reason, such as reducing the size for stopping image theft. Anyway, that, along with the black animal photo difficulties, have made it a rather longer process than usual. She sent me several pictures and ended deciding she like the one with her dog wrapped in a scarf. I must admit it is a cute photo. I just wish the quality had been better. It is so much easier to work from a good photo where I don’t have to guess.
Medical office building
The architectural commission is of medical office building. I had the same difficulty of file size but we managed to work it out. When I do the pencil up, often I have questions that are not apparent initially. Our minds fill in the details of a photo but when I need them for the work, they are not there. She was able to take the extra photos that I needed.
Inking is up next.
20 Nov 2013
in artwork, pets
Tags: architectural art, dogs, pen and ink, pet portraits, pets, watercolor
It’s been a heck of a week. Not only did we get Alex the dog, but I got commissions for a dog portrait and an architectural of an office building as well as selling 2 of my shore bird linocuts. I can see myself coming and going lately. I have the architectural mostly pencilled up but can’t really start the inking because some of the detail photos are too small and I can’t print them. I’m waiting for her to retake some of them. I will start the pet portrait soon. Those file are small too so I’m waiting to see if she has a larger version of one.
Three toys are better than one
Alex is doing well. He is almost housebroken, although I wouldn’t trust him quite yet. He is sleeping mostly through the night in his crate and we are taking daily walks up and down the drive for exercise. Two trips up and down are over a mile. I do it twice daily, once for the paper and once for the mail. That, including some fetch with a ball and frisbee, seem to tire him out enough right now. He is so funny at times. He likes to carry his plush Winnie the Pooh and try to to pick up his ball at the same time. Occasionally he can do it but usually he just ends up kicking the ball around and chasing it, still holding on to Winnie.
He and I had a day excursion today. My friend and riding teacher invited Alex and me to go along for her lessons so he could get some socialization. We live out in the country and don’t have the opportunity unless we make it. I am happy to say he behaved quite well – far better than I had expected. He played with a corgi who told him what for, learned to behave a bit better with cats, and rode quietly in the vehicle. All in all it’s been a good week. I’ll post some of the commission work next time around.
13 Nov 2013
Tags: dogs, pen and ink art, pets, Watercolors
Chillin’ with me in the studio
On Monday, the day didn’t go quite as planned, but in a good way for a change. I started the day out dogless and ended up with a new member of the household. When we came back from an appointment about noon, he was hiding around a trash can at the base of the driveway and by the end of the day he was in our house.
Supervising art projects is hard work
He appears to be about 4 months old and is smart as a whip. He knocked down the baby gate we are using to keep him occasionally enclosed in the laundry area once and after that he has respected it. After one evening, he will willingly go into his crate when he is told to. He learned to fetch his ball and give it to me in less than 10 minutes, once he figured out I would throw it again for him. One or two noes have been enough to keep him away from things I don’t want him in, although I don’t quite trust that in such a young dog. He is going to be a big one – far larger than any dog I had thought to get, so he needs to be very well behaved.
We have asked around and no one has claimed him. Here’s to hoping he can stay. And I think another dog portrait may be in order.