Water lilies painting

Underpainting and layout

First layer of color

I wanted to paint a bit after the Christmas commissions and selected a photo from one of last year’s trips to Boise. The Old Train Depot overlooks a lovely water feature and I took quite a few photos of it as well as the Depot itself. Here is the start of the water lilies pond painting. Monet, I’m not, but I like the start.

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Trixie the corgi

Painted

 

After a lot of tweaking, the corgi portrait is finished and in the client’s hands.  I think I must have fiddled with this for days longer than I normally would, continuing to adjust the ears and neckline along the way.  It took me quite a while before I felt that the “corginess” was apparent.  The eyes are no longer buggy and the nose sits properly on the face.  I was making adjustments even into the day it was mailed when I scrubbed out a bit of fur color right above the eyes.

But whew.  The client is giving this to her husband and we had to have rather clandestine communications along the way.  She was worried he would find out before hand and spoil her surprise.  I assured her that the mailing box would have no indication of what was inside, just her name as the recipient and mine as the sender.  I am happy to say it got there safely and secretly.  She told me that she cried when she saw it.  It makes me so happy to know that this fulfilled her desires for her very special gift.

Corgi dog portrait

corgi pencil drawing

Inked

My last Christmas commission was a memorial pet portrait for a dog that had very recently crossed the rainbow bridge. I was pretty nervous about it because the client wanted the ear position changed from what the photo showed – to facing forward instead of to the side.  There was no chance of getting another picture, so I just had to make do.  And with the death so recent, the image in my client’s mind was very strong and emotional.  I needed to get this right, even if the photo was not exactly what I needed it to be.  I looked at an additional photo from her that showed the upright ear position, but was too blurry to use and the client preferred this angle anyway.  I also checked a bunch of online corgi photos for additional references on ear shape and position and the width between them.

As you can see, I did change the neckline on the right side and the ears a bit. The eyes were a bit “buggy” and the nose slightly wonky at this stage, but those would be fixed once the colors went on.  I was more concerned that “Trixie” didn’t quite look corgi enough at this stage. Tweaking would need to continue.

New home portrait for Boise Idaho has been mailed

Finished

My second home portrait Christmas commission is finished and gone.  As it was a new build, I enlarged the landscaping and greened up the grass to help it settle into the landscape.  It was kind of fun to do a portrait from a far away place that I had actually visited near.

I did hear from the client that it safely arrived and that she was delighted.  I had wrapped it so that she couldn’t see it directly on opening the shipping box and she said it was like her own Christmas!  So happy she is happy.

Boise home commission

Little house in the foothills

Inked in

Shortly after I received the OPO commission, a second Christmas house commission popped up.   Unbeknownst to this client at the time, I have a personal connection to Boise, Idaho, where this home was just built. As some of you may know, my son and his family moved out there last year for a new job and we have visited them several times already.  It was fun to draw this home located in the foothills of Boise which I have hiked in ever so briefly while I was there.

Since it was a new build, the client was able to get me the paint chip number for the siding paint.  It was much easier to get the color on the exterior right with that reference as the colors in a photograph are not always true.  Watercolor next.

All colored in

OPO final

I finished this commission last week and I must admit it was one of the more difficult ones.  It was on the smaller side at 10×8, but there was a lot of detail packed in there. Between the stone accents, the offsets, the brick, and the grand staircase/entryway, the facade was quite complicated.

And then there was the truck.  Having never drawn a vehicle before, I approached it with trepidation.  Plus it was such a prominent feature that held some importance to the client and the building owner as the gift recipient, I almost felt more pressure getting the truck right than the building itself!  LOL  As such a bright color, it could easily have overpowered the large building behind.

Still, I am happy at how it turned out – as is the client, which is the most important thing.

A new commission

pencil drawing

Inked up

The season for Christmas commissions has finally started for me.  This project is a little bit unusual.  I have never drawn a vehicle before, but I had a request for this one.  This is an old decommissioned post office in Missourt that was sold to a private owner who has turned it into offices for entrepreneurs.

One of the tenants commissioned me to paint this as a gift for him and wanted me to include the owner’s bright red truck.  I believe this ranks right up there with the black dog for my first pet portrait commission in the difficulty (and trepidation) scale.  Still, I think it is turning out right and my husband says it looks good. I have it mostly done now and letting it sit and percolate a day or two before I ship it out.  There are a small new home portrait and a dog portrait in the queue next so there will be lots of work to show up until Christmas.

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