A last minute commission in 2020

I got a surprise home portrait commission right before Christmas. She wanted it for a gift for New Year’s and I am happy to say UPS made it in time. It is a stately home that raised children with good memories and is now being moved out of.

Maybe it’s done now

Is it this one
Or this one

There are only a few subtle changes in these two. Can you tell which is the final? Look for the little bit of change in the blues and whites, especially around the flowers.

Okay, it is the top one. I took out a bit of the reflections. Not a big deal, but it made a difference to my eyes. I am taking all of my pond paintings to a photographer to have really good color quality pictures for marketing them. I got accepted into the on-line art print dealer Turning Art and I want the absolute best representation for them. Don’t get me wrong. I like what I have done for my Society6 shop on my own. I certainly would not put up something I was unhappy with, but I think it is time to up my game.

I think out of all of the pond paintings I have done these last two years, this is my favorite. What about you? I think if you search for pond paintings here, they should come up.

Mostly done

More paint on
Subtle changes

Is this is mostly done? What does it still need? A lot, actually. I know it is hard to see, but the bottom one is a later version and I still think it needs a lot of work. It is still quite flat looking and not enough tonal difference. I changed the photo to black and white and it definitely showed that the tonal balance was off. The good thing is that the more I do these, the less afraid I am of making alterations. I think you will like it when it is done.

Pond painting number 9!

Pencil up
Two days in

Can you believe it? I counted up the pond paintings I have done since I started in 2019 and there are now nine of them. Although frustrating at times, I have learned a lot about acrylics and enjoyed every minute. I am running out of photos of the pond at the Boise Train Depot and will have to go back for more. And visit family. Too bad for me. LOL

I really just use the photos for a basic reference on placement of the lily pads and minorly for some of the colors. Once I get going, I just let it flow and the picture tells me where to go. I will just tell you now, though it took a lot of tweaking (just like the stream painting) it has turned out to be my favorite one.

I might actually be finished with the stream

Almost finished
Done!

Finally I think it might be done. I have niggled on it for several days and for the first time, it looked better to me the day after I worked on it. I think the addition of the dark blue in the lower left finally did it for me. As always, I wish I could photograph my work better. It really does look better in person. More depth.

Days 4 and 5

More painting
Still more painting

Lots of days in this painting. I have been watching youtube videos again and it gives me the courage to keep on painting even when I don’t think it is going well. I have done so much repainting on the water, I feel like I am going mad. Nothing is remotely right yet, except maybe those tree trunks in the middle right. Especially the big one. Still I have resolutely decided not to be afraid of redoing something over and over. If it is not good in the first place, how can it be “ruined”.

Back to painting

After the three home commissions, I decided to go back to painting a bit. I am still fussing some with some of the previous pond paintings, so it is just easier to start a new acrylic and work on all of them at once. Also, I have been looking at my sales on Society6. It seems that that paintings on the merchandised products have been selling the best for me, so I am sticking with that for now. I would also appreciate suggestions on what you might think would be good subjects for me to use on that site. Take a peek using the link from my blog roll to get an idea of what I am talking about.

Laying down the pencil
Two days in

Perhaps you can tell (or not) but I eliminated the tree trunk in the water from the foreground. It got too confusing to paint and really didn’t add anything to the picture. In fact, I was so unhappy after the first day with the whole thing that I almost chucked it and reapplied the gesso to start something else. I decided to push through and it has improved somewhat. We’ll see. Day two has seen some improvement.

Final pastels on the third portrait

Pastels are on

Well, I’m finally done with this set of three commissions. This was an easy one. Red brick and lots of foliage (but no flowers again). The house itself was not complicated and I layed it out quickly. I was able to establish tonal and color variation with a lot less difficulty than the gray/green combination of the last one. Still, there is a lot of inking that goes on for a 14″X9″ portrait and it does take a bit of time. As long as I am clear on the colors, the pastels are a breeze and the shortest phase.

These were fun to do as I hadn’t done any home portraits since late winter/early spring. Now I move back to my own work. I am starting to actually sell on Society6 lately and I need to figure out what designs to add to the shop there.

Home Portrait Number 3

Pencil preliminary
Inked up

Here is the third of the set of three home portrait commissions from the last 2 months. Drawing and inking this was more in the normal time frame compared to the last one. The house and landscaping were fairly straight forward and easy to lay out.

This had a lot more foliage blocking the front view so I had to cut it back and move it around somewhat to expose a larger portion of the facade. Even so, that was a lot of greenery. The house itself is rather traditional so it was pretty quick pencil up and ink in.

It has been rather nice to go back and forth between these portraits and the landscape paintings. It helps keep it interesting.

Finished with pastels

This was a hard one. I probably had at least an extra day in each phase, if not two. The house itself was very complicated to lay out with its almost modular, broken up form, as were the trees in the landscaping. Colorwise, it is almost bi-chromatic (is that a word?) being predominantly gray and green. I had to find a way to accent with some other colors for establishing depth and visual interest. Fortunately, even if there were no flowers to speak of, I was able to use the pink of the garage doors and some yellow in the grass and trees to help break up the color. The chimney and the patio furniture helped some too. I ended up being pleased with it. It is actually one of the few portraits that I have done that I could see the finish of in my head before I started. Mostly I let portraits take me where they want to go. For some reason, this was different.

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