Finished commission

I must say that this was not an easy building to color.  They changed the painted brick from a rather lively red tone to an off white with light and dark gray accents.  I personally find is one of the most difficult combinations colors of homes to do.

DC townhouse

The surrounding homes still had a lot of color, but trying to make a basically black and white house distinctive is not something I find rolls off of the tips of my fingers and eyes automatically.  I had to find colors in the shadows of the building that complement the overall aspect and try to add some vibrancy in with the limited landscaping.  I am generally pleased with the outcome.  I put in a little maroon into the shade and added some color highlights here and there.  They wanted no window treatments, which meant I had to take them off of the other windows lest the neighbors’ windows outshine the main feature. 

Working with my firm pastels on a 6×8 was also on the more difficult side.  This reminded me why I usually work with bigger sizes when making architectural renderings.  It is not easy to get those sticks into small areas.  I used the q-tips liberally for blending colors and finished up some of the finer details with colored pencil.

One of these days I am really going to have to take up Photoshop Elements so that I can get truer digital representations of my work.  The color is slightly off and it really has a softer aspect than seen here.

I think now that I am going back to the watercolor experiments.  I bought 2 nice watercolor instruction books at a going-out-of- business Border’s store last week.  I am thinking of some small scale paintings on some of my archival cardstock so I can put them up on Etsy, but I haven’t totally decided yet.  I may try a few more gift tags or aceos just to loosen up after this.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lindahalcombfineart
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 17:02:32

    Very nice Ruth. Just a question – I have never noticed before – do you always leave the sky white? Or is my computer off in this shot? It’s not a criticism. I just thought it was interesting when I noticed it.


  2. ruthsartwork
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 17:21:31

    Linda, the sky actually is a litle blue and grey. My efforts at clouds. I didn’t notice it until you mentioned it, but it doesn’t show through here. It is in the photo I uploaded so I guess it must be due to WP.


  3. lesliepaints
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 00:48:37

    You NEVER disappoint with these, Ruth. I like the colors you chose. …and it would not be quite itself without the other homes on either side showing up as in real life. Embraces the whole townhouse idea I think. Excellent!


  4. ruthsartwork
    Aug 05, 2011 @ 09:31:44

    Thanks Leslie. I didn’t get to choose the colors, though. I’m glad the townhomes had something besides white and grey. I was kind of liking the original brick red that the house was. I didn’t see any way not to include the neighbors but the trick is how much to put in since the focus had to be the middle one. I would love to see the in side of it – especially those fireplaces.


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