Starting Urco’s color

Watercolor prelim

Watercolor preliminary

I started to lay in the the base watercolors last week and so far it seems okay.  I have to take care that the black part of Urco’s dark bay coloring doesn’t overwhelm his lovely bronze base color.  Just as in Felix’s portrait, the darks will be the problem.  Fortunately, Urco also has a very small slit shaped star on his forehead which should relieve some of the black expanse.

I think that this is about a third of the way in.  The colors all need to be deepened quite a bit, but I like his expression.  He has a very kind eye and delicate nose.

Urco, Felix’s friend

Urco pencil

Urco pencil

Next up is Urco, a Spanish breed horse, specifically a Lusitano.  Notice how much finer and sculpted his head seems compared with Felix’s warmblood blockiness. He is a much more delicately made horse, bred for bullfighting, where the ability to be light on his feet and move very quickly side to side is a decided advantage.  Felix’s ancestors had to be able pull heavy loads or carry knights with their burden of armor.  Different physiques for different purposes.  There is also about a hand difference in their heights, too.  It’s a much longer way down getting off of Felix than Urco, but surprisingly, they actually can use the same saddle.  anyway, it is a privilege to ride them both.

 

Preliminary pen work

Preliminary pen work

The inking on Urco will not be too detailed at this point.  I may go back after the color is in and add a bit more line work, but this is it for now.  Less is often more at this stage.

 

Felix, finished

Felix, finished

Felix, finished

After finishing the home portrait commission, I got back to Felix and completed the final watercoloring.  He now looks more to me like the horse I know.  He is a deep black, which made shadowing difficult, but I managed to keep some highlights and not get him too dark.  I think he has somewhat of a winsome look here and am pleased with his expression.

Next up will be his dark bay stablemate Urco.  I am doing both of my friend’s horses as a surprise birthday gift.  Last month she earned her Bronze medal from the United States Dressage Federation with scores showing on Urco. Now she is going for her Silver Medal with Felix and is half way there.  I’d like to mat and frame them so she can eventually hang the portraits with her two (hopefully) medals together.  It’s a small thank-you for the privilege of riding two exceptional horses.  It’s not very often a rider like me can have the opportunity to ride a horse who has competed at the upper levels of dressage.

Watercolored in

All done

All done

I finally finished this home portrait and I think it turned out pretty nicely.  After all of the difficulty in the layout, the watercolor was easy.  This duplex had some unique accents, including the diamonds on the rake board and some sort of concrete inset in the gable brick.  I never could make out what they were, but the picture is only an 8×6 so I couldn’t really delineate it much anyway.

The blue/gray accent color meshed nicely with the multicolor red brick.  The lighter cream color kept the house from being too dark overall.  It’s off to the client.  She should get it today.

Finally inked

All inked

All inked

This was a hard one to lay out and ink. That tree on the right was actually right smack in front of the duplex house so I had to cobble together the view, but I think I finally got it. Most of the pictures were up at an extreme angle which cut off the base of the windows and the roof line. This made the relationship of the house features rather hard to  establish.  But having done this for quite a while, I think I was able to put it all together correctly.  And while I hate to say it, the tree in front of the real facade, will help disguise any minor discrepancies.  I do want to be as accurate as I can be.

The accent colors chosen will also add to this unique facade.  The red brick mix is nicely complemented by blue/gray pillars and window trim with a touch of red and cream.  I have started the watercolor underlayment  and the next post will show the finished product.

Arches everywhere on a new commission

Duplex

Duplex

A new commission piece came onto my desk last weekend, so Felix is on the back burner for now.  I have been talking back and forth with a client about the pictures for a while because the main one with the whole house view is almost totally covered by a leafed out tree.  I have had to piece things together in a major way to even get a sketch for her to see. It is half of a mirrored duplex, but its mate is covered by an even larger tree so there is no additional information to be found there. Nobody else can see much from the street either, which is fortunate for me.  Still, I like to be as accurate as I can be, and this should be pretty darn close.

There are plenty of cute details and unique color accents so it should be quite an interesting portrait, difficulties aside, when I am done.  It is a brick building with arch top windows and half grids.  The larger window under the gable is actually a bay window with a cut glass window panel above.  And see the little brick arches under the  porch?  There are red diamond accents on the eaves and 2 round plaque insets in the upper gable area.  I move the pesky tree to the right, but wanted to keep it as it is obviously a very tree lined street  and a part of the neighborhood character.  The pen work starts after the holiday weekend and we’ll see how panicked I get when inking makes the work get real.  Thank heavens it’s only an 8×6 picture or I might be in real trouble.

Felix with preliminary watercolor

Felix with some watercolor

Felix with some watercolor

I decided to jump right in and start watercoloring Felix.  Sometimes it is just better to dive in, come what may.  If I think too much about what I want to do, I start to get overly cautious.  So far I like the black, but I think it needs to be darker in places.  It’s not quite clear that he is a black horse yet and I haven’t decided whether or not to add his “worried” eyebrow.  The trick, as always, is not to overdo it.

I will be taking a short break on Felix, which is probably not a bad thing.  I already see some parts to darken.  I got a house commission over the weekend and will have to devote the drawing table to getting it out.  It is on the small side, so it will be quick, but it has some very cute eave details.

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