Red brick in the mail

Red brick ranch

Red brick ranch

After several rounds of watercoloring, the brick ranch is finally finished.  The brick was a solid red with no variations which is always a little harder. There are no subtle color combinations to move the eye around the facade, so I had to use the shutters, quoins and set back entry to help do that.   Because this is only an 8×6 drawing, the smallish doorway got lost in the shadows of the porch.  I used a narrow white line to bring it back out.  I was rather pleased with the effect since the door had effectively disappeared and who doesn’t want to see the entry of their home.

It is off to its new home in Virginia, I think as a realtor gift.

 

Advertisements

Inking the Virginia house

Inked in

Inked in

Before I started the inking this one, I decided to adjust the placement of the house on the board. I lowered the skyline and added some of the gravel road to the bottom. I always try to leave extra space on the board when I place my initial drawing rectangle. Sometimes I have to move the building placement around after I start the drawing and it’s easier to adjust the borders if I have extra room that I can trim later.

This is turning out to be a cute ranch with attractive brick details, including the single row quoins and the soldier courses.  I like the circle top windows and the 9 panel grids.  They make the large expanse of windows a little more inviting.  I didn’t see that the doorway itself is slightly recessed from the covered porch area until I started the inking, but it is.  I’m ready for watercolors.

A brick ranch commission

Brick ranch

Brick ranch

Last week I got a nice surprise – a portrait commission from a Virginia realtor.  Fortunately, it didn’t need to have Christmas delivery so I can working at my regular pace and still get myself ready for the imminent holidays.

It is a nice brick ranch house with a variety of roof lines and some pretty window details.  The corners have a single raised brick line every 5 courses or so.  At first I thought it was a square quoin, but on much closer inspection (and an emailed question), it turned out to be just one row at a time.  I’ve not seen that particular brick corner detail before and my eyes kept wanting to make more of it.

The portrait’s coming along so far.  There are quite a few architectural details here for an 8×6 drawing, but that just makes it interesting.

Colored up cattle farm

All colored up

All colored up

It’s done and in the mail.  I’m pretty happy with the way the color turned out.  As I’d hoped, the fixative spray popped all of those greens nicely. Surprisingly, I had more trouble with the shadowed areas up on the hill rather than than all of that grass.  I couldn’t get it too dark up there or I would totally lose the foreground.  I put some yellow flowers in the front field to keep the eye from moving around too quickly in all of that green.

The red barn is a nice focal point.  It does overpower the house a bit, but what would you expect for red versus white?  The fencing turned out not too obtrusive, just a suggestion except where boards were used and then merely accented the structure nearest.  This almost makes me want to try another landscape.  All that grass actually was a little bit fun.

Inking is finished

Almost all inked up

Almost all inked up

The inking is finished, including for the house.  She got back with me concerning which of the two back porches was correct.  As I suspected, it was the screened in version versus just a railing, but I did want to put in the right one.  Notice the two little cows in the field?  They definitely are on the sketchy side, but it was hard to do more than just indicate them because of the distance away.

I worked hard on the positive/negative balance and I think it came out okay.  All of that grass had to ground the middle strip with the trees and buildings.  If I made the middle section too dark, the grasses would not be able to hold it down and the treed hills would float too much.  If I made the grasses too dark, it would all meld into one and be harder to distinguish the two areas.

This one will be colored with the hard pastels, for a change.  With such a long expanse of 18″ by almost 7″ and all of the greenery, I felt that the richness of the pastels would work better than watercolors.  The gloss fixative I use really pops the colors of the pastels and adds a depth that I find harder to do with watercolors, at least at this point in my artistic endeavors.

Next post it will be all colored up.

10,000 blades of grass…

10,000 blades of grass

10,000 blades of grass

….or at least that’s how it seems. Three and a half hours in, and all I’ve done is pasture.  That is about how long I can work before my eyes stop focusing on all of the little ink lines.  I do like it so far, though.  I plan to add some yellow and white wild flowers in the foreground to break up all of the green.  Fortunately, the barn is classic red and the house is white.  This is definitely going to be a test of my positive/negative space skills.

More grass and then the trees are next on the agenda.  Last will be the house as the pictures show 2 different facades – one with a screened porch and door and the other with a simple railing only so I need to talk to the client and find out which is correct.

(I have actually tried to estimate the number of grass strokes made and came up with almost 6,000!)

Cattle farm landscape

Farm landscape

Farm landscape

This one is a little different than my normal home portrait. If fact, it’s pretty far away, seeing as the house and the barn are way back there and it is really more of a landscape.  The drawing measures ~18″x7″ which is also a change from my usual working sizes.

The inking will take a lot of time here – lots of grass and trees.  In talking it over with my client, I decided the pastels would be more suitable than the watercolors. The richness of the sprayed hard pastel will enhance the landscape, although I will probably use a little watercolor on the small fence areas and the barn, just because it will be easier to lay a color base and then just shade a bit with the pastels and maybe a little colored pencil.

Previous Older Entries