The second portrait commission

Penciled up

Inked up

So, out of order, here is number two from the Christmas gift board.  This was a bit of a surprise referral from a business client.  Someone had seen the client’s portrait commission and inquired about having one done for herself.  I was happy to oblige and there was plenty of time for it to be matted and framed for Christmas.

This appears to be a raised ranch maybe built in the 60’s with the addition of decks across the front.  I don’t know if they are original to the design, but if they were not, those access doorways would have to be a remodeling job.  Still, it surely adds to the livability of the home.

 

A surprise third commission.

Palm tree pencil

Inked

I often get a late request for a Christmas commission and this year was no exception. Sunday, December 8th, came and with it a inquiry if I could get something done for holiday delivery.  Fortunately it’s a smaller one with a simpler house.  All of that vegetation, though….   It took me longer to do the landscaping than the house itself!

First one finished

Watercolored commission

The first commission watercolor portrait is done.  I still would have preferred to feature the front door a bit more rather than the garage, but what is important to the client is important to me.  The birch trees must have some special attraction or meaning.  Not many flowers here, but the rest of the landscaping is in full fall bloom and helps liven the scene up with color.  I always feel I am guessing somewhat about what the color taupe really is. but I think this is pretty good.  The red shutters help the house from being too monochromatic.

The first holiday gift commission

Pencil drawing

All inked up

Here is the first of the holiday portrait commissions.  While I usually like to emphasize the doorway and not the garage, the clients wanted the birch trees on the right front and center. Notice the little West Highland terrier in the shrubbery.  This is the second time I have added a dog on the front yard  This will be watercolor for the final piece.

The second wedding venue portrait finished

Inked

The second wedding venue portrait is finished and they both have reached their destination.  I really enjoyed doing this one.  It is stark in its own way, as a simple brick-faced building, but its details are quite charming.  Wooden shutters block the lower windows, but the fanned, vertical brick archtop above them and the iron gated doorway add much needed visual interest.  The eye is drawn up to the second story windows with their overflowing flower boxes and striped awnings.  The trees soften the harder angles and add texture.

Number two wedding venue gift portrait

Pencil plus

Number two was started but I forgot to take a photo before beginning the inking.  I was in a bit of a rush as I wanted to get these out before my trip to Boise, and I had a senior moment about the photo.  Still, I managed to catch myself before I went too far.

This one was a bit easier than the last one as I didn’t have to cram so much building into the 10×8 space.  Still, it had its own issues.  This is peeling white paint over red brick.  No color to help delineate that. It has black wooden shutters over the first floor windows and lovely arches in them.  The entryway is  recessed in its own archway and has half circle window above the door.  Grilled iron gates protect the enclosed area too.  So, in its own way, it is packed with detail, too.

The first wedding gift portrait finished

Inked in

It seems so simple to just do black and white.  But it’s not. The first portrait for my wedding venue gift is finished and there was a lot of work to it. Not just in the shapes but in the balance of black and white as well.  These can take almost as much time as a portrait in color. Without the “crutch” of color I have to work carefully with the ink to not over do it and end up with a black blob and no detail in the shadows.

New Commissions

Pencil up

The woman who has had me do the wedding venue portraits as gifts contacted me a couple of weeks ago to do two more. I started the first one and, as always, it is more complicated than would first appear.  There is a lot of building there to pack into a 10×8 portrait and not have too much sky or lawn.

Pastels, pastels, pastels

Pastels over the ink

Summer is flying by.  I haven’t done much in the studio except this commission and working to get my Society6 store stocked. This was a nice  piece to work on.

I haven’t done a lot of pastel work in the last few years, but this client for multiple portraits lets me decide what to use. When commissions get to be 14×9 or above I like to use the pastels versus watercolors when possible.  The richness of colors is easier accomplish with pastels on something this large.

I enjoyed doing stonework for the first time in a while on this long, tall two-story. The red door sets off the taupe siding and the brown and cream stonework nicely.  I wish there were more flowers, but you can’t have everything..

A New Commission for July

Two story home commission

Inked in

Just after the 4th of July, I picked up the pictures for my next home portrait commission.  It’s a long two-story home with taupe siding and stone. It is pretty straight forward in layout and facade, so the inking went pretty quickly.  I haven’t done stone in a while, so this is a bit of a treat for me.

Because it is 14″x9″ and my choice of color technique, I am going forward with pastels.  I like how I can lay down the colors easily and more lushly than with watercolors in the larger sizes.

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