I think it’s finished now

All done

Here is another photo of the entryway after I worked on it today. I don’t know if you can see much difference because it is still a little washed out, but I added more shadowing and highlighted the door some with the colored pencil.  It also occurred to me today that I hadn’t addressed the changes on the right side in yesterday’s post either.  As you can see there is now a window there.  That came about in a rather funny way.  I was merrily inking in the shingles without a care in the world.  I had roughed in the horizontal pencil lines, not paying too much attention to where the edge of the picture was.  So of course, I went outside the margin lines when I started the inking.  Fortunately I saw my mistake before I had gone very far and I try to leave a little extra margin for adjustments.

It was only about 1/4″ over, but now the blank space was going to be too large for just some texture.  I mulled it over and decided to place part of a window there.  The real windows were some thin, slatted affair reminiscent of a 3 season porch which I couldn’t understand, so I decided to go with the diamond grids again.  I actually kind of like the composition better with the changes.

I’ve colored it in, mostly inside the lines

I pretty much finished up the drawing today. I think I’ll let it rest a day or two and then go back to make a few additions.


Almost colored in

The colors are a little washed out in the photo so I will also retake them later before I list it in my shop.  I did it outside and although the sun wasn’t overly bright, the limestone accent blocks are really much more textured, as is the foliage.  I don’t know what the problem is with the light today.  And now it is starting to rain, so I can’t take it back outside in the evening light.  Not complaining, mind you, as I will happily take a gentle soaking rain for quite some time.

I will play a little with the shadowing, especially on the lower left behind the flowers.I also need to texture the door finish a bit more.  It comes off as a little flat to me.  I did put in some yellow highlights, but the spray fixative kind of washed them out.  I may do it with the colored pencil and not respray as the pencil won’t smear like the pastel does.

Back home in Indiana

Well, I must confess I have not made it back into the studio since my last post.  Wednesday I ended up going to the eye doctor with a persistent red eye.  Fortunately, it turned out to be just an irritation of unknown etiology and not an infection or a scratch.  Unfortunately, I had to put in eye drops four times a day and not wear my contacts for at least a 30 minutes afterwards.  I opted out of wearing them altogether until today when I am down to 3 drops a day.  Removing them once a day for half an hour seems much more doable than twice.  I have my glasses but they are for distance only and I don’t have very clear close up vision any more either.  Since my focus point without anything is only about 2 inches from my nose, none of this was very conducive to working at my table.  And then we left Friday to visit our son for the weekend.  We drove back in a hard rain which I really couldn’t mind because we have had so little this summer.  I think we have had more in the last 8 or 9 days than we’ve had total since the beginning of July.  My flowers and shrubs have perked up a good bit but it is probably too little too late in the year to make any big difference.

Blue cedar berries

I’ve been noticing that the fall colors and features have started to appear.  It seems that the berry producing cedars are going to have quite a crop this year.  These berries are tiny – only a few mm in size – but so abundant that I can see them from the house quite easily.  There is another cedar species that grows around here that has very tiny cones instead (on the same scale as the berries) and the way they are differentiated is by the fruit.  We seem to have more of the berried ones.  They really are quite pretty and I have taken lots of pictures of them.

The rains also revived my tomato plants somewhat.   I picked a few this morning and we ate BLTs for lunch.  Yum for fresh garden tomatoes.  And I got a few green peppers too.  They are down to about $2.00 each now.

I’m getting back into the studio today after I this and should be able to  finish the inking very soon.  I think it will be fun to color.  It has a rich, luscious texture to the architectural features which I hope I can recreate.  If only it had more complete landscaping in real life.  I don’t look at drawing plants and foliage as my forte and always am striving to make them look as if they might fit in.

An evening’s worth of inking

Inking almost done

I did most of this last evening. Somehow the day just slipped away, so I decided to put on some background noise (tv) and work at the drawing later in the day.  The post dinner hours drifted along and suddenly it was 11: pm when I looked at the clock.  When things are going well, time passes unnoticed.  I haven’t done the shingles yet, obviously, and I am debating what to do on the right.  There is a window set off of the paper that I elected not to include.  I may just let the texture of the wood show through in the blank white area.  Maybe I’ll add some green undertones to the colors to help balance the foliage on the left.  The house is basically a red brick mix like the last ones, grey limestone accent blocks, and brown trim.  It may be good to punch up that rather lackluster earth tone with some other undertone of yellow and green.  I guess I’ll just play with it and see where my eye leads me.  I’m actually rather pleased so far with this.  If I can balance off the white area properly, I think it should turn out well.

Another neo-gothic

This morning started out again with a gentle, misty rain. The overnight temperatures are down in the 50’s so it feels cool and damp. I’m ready for the rain but not the cold yet. Summer ends this week and fall officially begins.  That would be okay if it were not the presage to winter. I’m just wishing for a milder, easier winter this year. I’ve had enough of cold, snow and ice to last me for a decade or so, thank you very much.

Pencil sketch

After fiddling with the aceos a little bit to get them ready for listing, I went through my reference photos and picked out another entryway. I especially liked the door in this one as well as the diamond grids in the windows. The brick mason was much more traditional with this home, but there is added interest in limestone block additions around the door and the lower areas of the facade. I haven’t put the stonework in yet but will probably do that after some of the inking is in. The varying sizes of the stonework is taxing on my eyes and I like to do it a little at a time.

I also liked the little false ironwork deck below the window.  I’m not sure it properly belongs with this style of house, but I found it rather pleasing and it does dress up the upper gable.  And if you look closely, there are gentle curves in the roof lines.  There is a little upsweep to the roof on the lower eave to the left and the upper roof curves somewhat on the right.  It is subtle and I hope I will be up to the task of making that visible.

I have added to and removed some of the landscaping around the door. Except for one rather unattractive and poorly placed spiky evergreen and a funky cherry tree, there was not much please the eye. The low groundcover all across the front needed some added punch, so I have put in some more shrubbery and colorful flowers.

First signs of fall

As I sit here writing this post, I can here the long-awaited rains hitting the roof above me. Today felt like the coming of fall. Yesterday was in the 90’s and today’s high was barely 70, with low flying cloud cover.  I washed off my horse’s rain sheet and winter blanket in the heat of the day and set them in the sun to dry.  Truth is, I should have done that in the spring when I brought them home, but you know how that goes.  At least I did it before today’s cooler wetter weather set in.  It has been a busy few days with a quick trip to see our son who travelled to Purdue for business.  Four hours of driving for a three hour visit, but well worth it. 


I did manage to sneak into the studio for a few hours today.  I didn’t have the time to lay out a new architectural so far this week, so I decided that since I hadn’t done any new aceos in quite a while, I would spend the limited time available doing a few.  I wanted to try a few abstract compositions and the other backgrounds seemed to lend themselves to a floral motif.  These watercolor blanks had a lot of orange and yellow ocher in them and were interesting to work with.  Many of the previous pieces were more red and green in tone.  I may do a few more this week and then list some in my store on Etsy.

Some does and the big buckAnd here is the photo 0f the oddly colored deer that I promised a few posts back.  They are actually that white.  I’m thinking it must be some coat/skin condition.  Even the more normally colored ones had splotches of white on them.  I hope it clears up before winter and is not an indication of some more serious health issue.  And, as you can see, the buck is getting quite a set of antlers.  I’d like to find those in the spring.  Wouldn’t you?

Tudor style architectural art

I finished the entryway yesterday but had to wait until today to take the photos. Yesterday afternoon we finally got a long-awaited small shower. Everything was damp and I couldn’t take the photos outside or leave the drawing out to air dry the fixative.  This one has a little darker tone to it than the previous ones but I find it rather pleasing.  It actually has a little richer feeling to it because of the brown external timbers than the photo shows.  Most of the previous entryways have been more red due to the predominance of  the brick.   And I decided that I didn’t need to darken the right side too much to balance the windows on the left.  I love the round top door in this house.  Because the owners left it natural, it really stands out in a pleasing way.  The tones of the door blend well with the reddish brick and brown timberwork.

Tudor entryway with timberwork

I just looked back through my posts to see when the last time I had done an entryway and much to my surprise it was in June.  I hadn’t realized it had been so long.  I did have the commission house in July, but with all of the watercolor experiments, I hadn’t pulled out any new architectural photos. 

Now off to watch the television memorials on this day of significance.  It won’t be easy.

After the holiday

Well, the holiday weekend is over, all of the company has returned home after a wonderful visit, and the cleanup has finally been accomplished.  I managed to get into the studio for a few hours today and start the coloring.  I had finished the inking last week but with holiday preparations and then company, I couldn’t get back to the studio.

Preliminary pastel

This is what I did this afternoon.  The colors are a little on the dull side as I haven’t sprayed it at all yet and I haven’t cleaned up the edges, especially around the exterior timber work.  It looks a little on the on the messy side since I have only used the kneaded eraser alone and not with the metal guide.  I plan to darken up the timber work with a few more layers and perhaps just a bit more subtle coloring to the brick work.  And I think I’ll make the shingles slate again.  Ahh, the privileges of artistic license when there is no client involved.  I do think I may need to add some dark on the right to balance out the windows on the left, but I haven’t quite decided how to yet.  Perhaps when I add more color to the foliage it will work itself out.  I’ll use the colored pencils after I spray with workable fixative to delineate the shadows.  All in all, I should  be able to finish by the weekend and then I’ll have to figure out what to do next.  sometimes that is harder than the actual artwork.