Commissions’ pencil work

I thought the two pencil ups for the commissions would be good to see.  I had to be out of town again last week but was able to get this part finished for both before I left.

Cottage drawing

Cottage drawing

I am pretty pleased with this smaller one so far.  It is only 10×8 but the pencil drawing is fairly detailed and took quite a bit of time.  I had to add in most of the deck steps as they were cut off in the picture.  It is nicely wooded and I wanted to nestle the cottage in the foliage.  The porch is screened in rather than glassed which will be a little bit different texturally.  It is only pen and ink so I should be able to finish it pretty quickly.

Barn drawing

Barn drawing

The barn drawing is somewhat larger – 14×10.  Someone liked the stone barn drawings in my etsy shop and wanted her barn drawn so here I am.  It is not as complicated as the cottage, but has its own unique peculiarities.  The foundation is field stone and the upper is faded chestnut boards.  The barn is surrounded by fenced in pastures and the lower part has five stall openings underneath.  She wants it watercolored like the shop barns so that will be a bit different than most of my architectural work.  I should have a large portion of the smaller one done today and maybe even finished on Monday.  the barn will take a bit longer.

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Ding Dong Dog Again

Ding Dong Dog

Ding Dong Dog

I have been trying to do a few more animal portraits as samples for my esty shop. I found a nice picture Of Ding Dong Dog and decided to use it. The photo was taken when she was still a puppy – not that she ever really grew up. She was over six before she had much sense in any given situation.

It is okay, except I don’t like the head over much.  I have been thinking about what especially bothers me and I have decided that part of the problem is that the overall size is too small to detail the features the way I want.  I think that for full body portraits I will have to go up in size.  Between the ink work and the watercolor shading there is just not enough space to do it all so it ends up dark and a little muddy looking.  What I may try next is just a head/shoulder shot of her and see if that helps.  In the one featuring Perkins the crabby cat a few posts ago, the face was almost half of the painting and it allowed for a lot more subtlety.

But that will have to wait. Insert happy dance here.  Last Thursday I received two (!!!) orders for custom architectural portraits.  I have spent the last couple of days laying out the pencil drawings and am pretty happy with both of them so far.  One is an 8×10 pen and ink of a cottage and the other is a 10×14 of an old barn.  That one will be watercolor.  I usually use the pastels for the portraits, but this buyer specified watercolors like I did for a couple of barns in my etsy store.  I guess variety is the spice of life.  I look forward to spending the next weeks finishing them.  Stay tuned.

Coloring the daisy linocut

Colored linocut

Colored linocut

I watercolored the daisy linocut the day after printing it, when I was sure the printing ink had fully dried.  I chose to make the flowers golden yellow and the vase a mossy green.  To add some depth, I edged the left side of the vase with a bit of red and put a bit of the yellow ocher on the table.  I rather like the way the subtle colors add to it.

And, in a typical klutz move, I managed to ruin the note card print.  I had made a small smudge on the back side of the card when I printed it and tried to remove it with a watercolor eraser.  I have used the eraser a few times on small smudges on watercolor board paintings and it worked just fine.  This time, while it removed the smudge, I created a wrinkle in the card paper and it is now unsaleable.  I even tried to iron it flat but no dice.  Sigh.  I guess I will have to use it for myself and not list it for sale in my etsy shop.  Next time I make a linocut print, I will try again.

Daisy vase linocut

Daisy vase linocut

Daisy vase linocut

I saw some pictures of sunflowers recently and decided to make a floral linocut. I found a reference photo of daises that I had picked and put in a vase on my counter top a few years ago.  Also, I wanted to make a companion piece  to go with the other little linocut I made a few months ago and possibly make a matching set of blank greeting cards for my etsy store.  I plan to color one of the prints, as I usually do.  I think the flowers will be yellow and the vase, the mossy green, maybe with a touch of red so it will go a little better with the red teapot print.  I’ll decide tomorrow when I paint it.  I give the thicker paper a day to make sure the ink is fully dry.

Floral card set

Floral card set

Another cheetah painting

I sold the cheetah watercolor a few weeks ago out of my etsy store so I decided it would be a good time to draw a replacement. Once again, I looked through my photo references and found something suitable.  I also felt it would help as cat portrait practice.

Cheetah

Cheetah

I started the inking with my nib pen and then adding the watercolor overlay.  It is relatively small at 5″ x 4″ but turned out fairly nicely.  Cheetahs are such elegant animals.  I think I took the photos many years ago at the Cincinnati zoo which has a breeding and research population.  Maybe this month or next I can get up to the Indianapolis zoo.  I have pretty well run through my reference photos and would like to get some new ones.  I look forward to using my digital camera this time around.  It will be so much easier to see if I have something appropriate instead of taking rolls and rolls and not knowing what i have until after they are developed and I am miles and miles away.

Mr. Turtle’s Portrait

Mr. Turtle

Mr. Turtle

I am still pretty busy outside of the studio these days so I have been choosing smaller projects that I can pick up or stop easily. I have talked about Mr. Turtle before and decided that a small water color/ink portrait of him would fit the bill.  I also need more animal portrait samples for my etsy shop and the picture I took of him last month was pretty good for that.  He is a lovely shade of dark brown with golden markings.  I think the markings are so distinctive to the individual that each one can be identified by them.  As you can see, he was peering up at me when I took his picture.  I never tried to pick him up so he wasn’t too afraid.  He kept his head out the whole picture taking session, even when I walked around to photograph him from both sides.  I think we have come to an agreement.  I kind of like the look in his eye.

I have been using the nib pen and india ink to sketch out a base for the watercolor in the animal portrait work.  I like the fluidity and variation of the pen stroke for the animal art versus the technical pen for the architecturals.  Also, I am not really using the nib pen for a lot of detail in these.  I want to keep a sketch like quality to the work.

And Mr. Turtle has been living life on the edge lately.  Last week he had to be picked up out of the way a riding lawn mower and relocated to a safer spot.  All I can say is “whew” for him.  He’s fairly good size but seeing him in the tall grass was fortunate.