I’ve finally finished the inking

Texas ranch house

Texas ranch house

After a mishap in laying out one of the windows and having to redo, I finally finished the inking.  I rather like the little courtyard in the front.  I will delineate more of  her extensive flower bed plantings with the colors.  She has some nice hanging baskets on the garage eaves and just off the front door that I want to make more visible.  There is also a colorful petunia pot on the stoop.  We shall see what happens.  It is at rest until tomorrow when the colors come into play.  She specifically wanted their mailbox in the portrait, so the house is set back a bit more than I would ordinarily have done.  I have to make sure that the lawn doesn’t overpower the house.

I have left the front door partially undone.  She has a large initial hanging on it and I will use the watercolors.  It is too delicate for the pastels and quite important to her.  That will be the last thing I do on it.

Another architectural switch

Texas ranch house

Texas ranch house

I was about one third finished with the inking on the last architectural when I received a surprise commission in my etsy shop. Usually, before someone decides to have me draw a portrait, we have some back and forth e-mails on the project. Last Friday morning when I checked my etsy stats page, I saw that a Texas lady had bought a portrait listing. What a nice way to start the day. I contacted her back and gave her some hints on taking the photos for me. By evening I had her jpgs and was ready to start.

The pencil up is basically finished. I only have a few questions for her and then inking will start.  Sorry the picture is a bit dark.  I had to take it inside.  It is so humid outdoors that the lens fogs up immediately upon exposure to the warm air.

The path

I have talked about the path John and Justin cut on the southern half perimeter of our property and I thought a few pictures might be of interest. It took them several weekends of hard labor to clear a path 5-8′ wide, but it has been worth the work.  It is about 1.4 miles long according to the gps, but I don’t know if that is horizontal distance or includes all of the ups and downs which would make it a lot longer.  It sure feels longer.  The north perimeter is up next, maybe in the fall.  Eventually 3 miles of steep, up and down walking  will be great.

We have been trying to walk it as many mornings of the week as we can.  Some weeks are better than others of course, given the weather and various other activities (like berry picking which has priority.)  We haven’t scared up much wildlife yet while walking.  Probably that’s when they have decided to chew on my plants by the house.  Paw paw trees were just pointed out to me and I have seen quite a few, especially on the east end where a few actually had some fruit.  According to what I have read they are not ripe yet.  I have never tasted one so it will be interesting if we can actually get some ripe ones.  I don’t know what else might eat them before us.

The east entry, from the big field on top of the hill.

The east entry, from the big field on top of the hill.

Along the eastern border.

Along the eastern border.

Deeper into the woods.

Deeper into the woods.

Farther along the way.

Farther along the way.

Maybe the biggest tree on the property.  See one of it's fallen branches off to the left?

Maybe the biggest tree on the property. See one of it’s fallen branches off to the left?

My little wrist watch hung on the side to give a little bit of scale.  the diameter of this tree has to be 30-36".

My little wrist watch hung on the side to give a little bit of scale. the diameter of this tree has to be 30-36″.

This one cracks me up.  How did it fall straight on itself?  The top is longer than the trunk shown here.

This one cracks me up. How did it fall straight on itself? The top is longer than the trunk shown here.

Can you see the barb wire fence?  It used to keep the cows out, but they've been gone for a while.

Can you see the barb wire fence? It used to keep the cows out, but they’ve been gone for a while.

A different architectural

A funny thing happened on the way to redoing my own home portrait in the watercolors – I couldn’t find my reference photos. I have looked everywhere I can think of. I went through my big file cabinet, my little box of current work folders, the specific file where I keep the photos of finished work, the flat file…everywhere, and I just can’t find them.  I’m usually pretty good about these things and there were a lot of detail photos along with the main shot so there is a big folder out there somewhere with the pictures I need.  I just can’t locate it.  The only good thing is I cleaned out a lot of old things in the process.  I am sure as soon as I get them reprinted, they’ll turn up.

A Nashville house

A Nashville house

So I have had to improvise.  I did have some shots of another house that I have been planning on doing, so I’ll be doing this instead.  It’s about 13″ x 8″ so it’s not too big, but it’s not too small either.  It’s has both brick and siding and is on a nicely wooded lot.  The pencil sketch needs to sit for now but I’ll get back to it soon.

The berries are about done.  The raspberries were spectacular this year, but the blackberries, only so-so.  I had hopes of picking 4-5 gallons and will be lucky to end up with 3.  Not bad, but still disappointing, given what I expected.  The more I can freeze, the longer they will go into next year before running out.

Akron, watercolored

Watercolored

Watercolored

I worked over the course of three sessions to lay down the watercolors on this one. First day puts down the basics, but not too much. The next session, I put down the majority of the color and stopped before overdoing it. The last session was short, adding depth and shading.  I added a bit more ink to the flowers and a few spots of brickwork that I forgot.  I like the change to the slate shingles.  The flat orangey asphalt ones didn’t do much for me and the slate gives the house a more stately look.  I’ll let it sit for a few days but I think it is about done.

I need to have a few more complete watercolor home portraits to add a listing to my etsy shop in addition to the pastels portraits.  So next up, I think I will redo my own house with the watercolors.  I never liked the way it turned out when I did it with the pastels, so maybe I will with the watercolors.   It’s not quite so grand as this one, but we like it.

Akron Tudor inked

Inked Akron

Inked Akron

I inked up the little drawing and I think it turned out pretty well. I wasn’t sure how much detail I would be able to show because the picture is only 10 x 7 which is small for such a large house. Still, it’s good to experiment, just in case I would get a contract for something similar.  The brickwork was interesting and therefore complicated.  There were lots of diagonals inside the timber work and a pretty elaborate pattern on the fireplace flue.  The roof has some interesting curves too.  The edges of the main gable are quite upturned.  The lower eaves also have a gentle upswing.  All in all, with the steep pitch of the roof line, it is quite an elegant house.  The only thing I really changed was the shingles. They were just plain, flat asphalt shingles, not even dimensional ones, so I made them into slate.  Artist’s privilege and the house deserves better.

I am going to use the watercolors here.  I am thinking of putting that in as an option for my home portrait commission work so I do need some samples.

No berry picking today.  We got 2.6″ of rain over night and everything is wet, wet, wet.

Akron estate

Akron estate

Akron estate

As you might have guessed by my absence, blackberry season has started. Along with the continual garden weeding, I have been spending a lot of time outside.

In any case, I have been undecided for a while on what to do next.  There have been plenty of distractions lately, but I did need to pick something.  I went through my photos and nothing quite jumped out at me.  I did want another architectural so I looked again and chose this one.   At first I wanted to crop to the entryway area, but I couldn’t find a good view, no matter what I tried.  So instead I am drawing the whole thing.  I still kept it small – about  10″x6″.   I will probably color it with the watercolors just for practice.  It will be interesting to see how such a large house turns out in such a small drawing.

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 180 other followers