Flags and bunting

Seaside house

Seaside house

The watercoloring went a lot faster than the layout and inking for this portrait.  The color phase is usually the fastest part, whether I use watercolors or pastels, but especially so this time around.  I am glad there was the added visual interest of the bunting and the flag in the porch area.  Being an all white structure and with minimal roof shown, there is not a great deal of color going on.  The flowers and fabrics added a much needed pop.

I’m caught up with the commissions now.  Hopefully a few of the inquiries I’ve had will turn into purchases.  It’s not too early to start the holiday shopping for made to order items.  This is not something I can produce in a day or two.

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Ocean view home

Inking completed.

Inking completed.

Whew, I’m ready for the watercolors at last. After 2 days of layout and 4 full sessions of inking I am finally ready for the watercolors.  This is has been one of the more complicated drawings I have done over the last few years and it’s a small one to boot.  So much detail in a 6×8 area is difficult.  I was very careful with it all but I still have a few stray lines where I lost my place in the perspective, particularly in the porch ceiling area.  I had to work shorter sessions because my eyeballs began to cross, shifting from the drawing to the photo and then back to the drawing again.  The photo is relatively low resolution and with no real detail shots to help, I had to ask a few questions and keep peering at the enlargement.  It’s tiring for my poor eyes.

The siding is white, so the flag, bunting and flowers will have to provide most of the color interest.  The roofing has a greenish cast but there is not much shown of it.  Not much visual interest there to help out.  The rest of the landscaping is rather basic.  I think the watercolors will be much quicker to do, so maybe it will get out by first of next week.

Wednesday morning we had a bit more excitement than I would have preferred.  John and I were heading out for a walk when he found Mr. Turtle stuck on a sticky insect trap behind my car in the garage.  How he got in or how long he was there, I don’t know because we hadn’t left the garage door open for very long the previous days.  He must have been sitting in the flower bed just on the outside of the garage door and darted (for a turtle) inside at some point.  I was quite upset for my little friend and we had only moderate luck getting the remains of the pad off of him.  I called the local animal rescue about what to do, but there was no answer.  Then I did what I should have done in the first place – I checked the internet.  A video I found showed a mouse being freed by using vegetable oil where the hair was stuck to the pad.

By golly, it worked for the mouse and it worked for Mr. Turtle (mostly).  I sat holding him and used q-tips to apply the oil to his shell and legs where the goo was, for about half an hour.  Did you know that turtles can vocalize?  I didn’t but Mr. Turtle surely told me with his hisses that he didn’t appreciate his olive oil spa treatment.  I got most of the goo off except some spots that were higher up in the leg cavities of the shell because he kept closing up on me.  I decided to put him in a box for a few hours and see if he could work out the remaining goo and paper by moving around in the box, trying to make his escape.  When I came back later, he seemed to have accomplished that task fairly well.  I used the q-tips to remove what I could see remained up in his shell and on his legs.  Then I placed him at the woods’ edge away from the house.  After a few minutes, he scuttled off.  I hope he will be all right.  I am so thankful that John saw him.  I would have felt terrible had I accidentally run over him.  Who really ever finds a box turtle stuck on a sticky pad in their garage.  I guess we do.

Oceanside commission

Seaside house

Atlantic seaside house

This is really complicated for a small portrait.  Between the gambrel roof, the raised covered porch, and the windows, there is one heck of a lot of layout for a 8×6 drawing.  And that is not even counting the turret and deck off of the back.  It took the time of a much larger drawing to complete.  I increased the height some to accommodate the three stories, too.  I didn’t want to reduce the aspect of the house to fit the 6″ dimension and merely add more to the side yard areas.  The complexity of this house means it needs all of the space it can get.

It is an interesting home though.  I would never have guessed that it has a seaside view of the Atlantic Ocean. The landscaping is rather minimal, but there are large flower pots on the stairs and patriotic bunting on the railings.  There will be a flag hanging off of the right porch post pillar, too.  A small mailbox is situated in the beds on the right side of the porch.  All of these little details will help personalize the house and make it welcoming.

Inking starts today.

German train tunnel

Train tunnel

Train tunnel

Back to the German train tunnel.  I layered on the watercolors in 2-3 sessions after I added some rockish lines above the entrance.  I don’t know how well that worked out but I had to have some base for the brown/gray of the stone.  I think I need to work on indicating depth more with this technique.  I don’t want to overdo the watercolors so that the elegant writer pen washes disappear.  There is more to this than meets the eye.  I’m not unhappy with this, but I think it could be better.

 

I received another small commission over the holiday weekend.  Maybe the holiday purchasing has begun.  It is nice not to be rushed.

Colorado cabin colored

Colorado cabin colored

Colorado cabin colored

Well, after about 4 sessions on this small picture, I finally have the watercolors done.  It is easy to overdo a small piece, so I took my time.  After the initial washes, I spent several days adding more layers a little at a time.  It was not easy, but I am fairly happy with how it has turned out.

I added magenta to the shadowing to increase the color palette.  That orangy siding was really hard to work with and I needed to add some other color besides the ubiquitous greens.  Because of the risk of forest fires, I am sure, there was no close landscaping per se.  I managed to put in some small scrub trees and yellow flowers in the meadow surrounding the house.  That helped soften the hard lines of the house.