New Home Portrait Commission at Last

Two story home

I started work on a new home portrait commission over the weekend.  It is so nice to be able to do something new – and 14×9 too boot!  Lots of detail in this one.  Stone first story and board and batted upper, along with a cream picket fence all across the front.  No flowers, but nicely colored trees and shrubs, along with flags for the fourth.

Finishing the architectural streetscape

Final

This painting went through a few odd twists. After several days of adding detail that I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed with, I decided to switch gears and paint it up side down.  The painting, not me.  LOL  This would totally change my perspective and I could concentrate on the colors and not be so obsessed with the details. It actually worked pretty well.  I feel like I balanced the composition better.  Not perfect, but certainly better than the barn ended up being.

Streetscape

Layout

The first layer

Whoops, I forgot to post yesterday!  All of my days are running together now.  I was planting in my garden since the weatherman has assured me that the frosty weather is over and I just lost track.  I am super sad though because it looks like my lovely Japanese maples are going to succumb to the hard freeze we had recently.  We had planted them when we move in here and the two of them were getting large and nicely shaped.

I decided to try another architectural painting.  I haven’t done one in several years since the catastrophe of the stone barn, but that tree painting gave me some confidence in slapping the old paint on for buildings.  Also, an art video company has been showing hour long segments on youtube from their catalogue of painters and I have learned quite a lot from them.  This is a streetscape from Washington DC when we where there for a memorial service some time ago.

Western house commission

Pencil drawing

Inked up

I had a bit of delay with getting the photos, but now I am on this latest commission from Nevada. It is pretty simple, all things considered.  I do kind of miss doing grass and trees, but it is good to see someone working with what is more natural to the area.

Finished pastel

Finished pastel

The second one was a pastel and I had a devil of a time with the colors.  The upper siding was a beige color with the garage doors and trim brown.  Add in the green door and shutters, the cream/red/brown brick, and it was quite the mix.  I ended up starting with the red brick, then moving to the brown and green accents, and finally to the siding.  I kept having to erase the color overmarks onto the light siding area and figured I would just leave it until last.  Then the shading ended up being too red and I had to shade it back towards the blue.  Finally, after fussing a bit, I decided I was done.

I do like to do the pastels for the coloring on the larger ones (14X9 and above.)  I think it allows a richer color from the gloss fixative compared to the watercolors.  The only drawback is the fixative spray has quite the obnoxious odor.  I try to spray outside, but that is not always possible in the winter. Then it’s off to the storeroom with a slightly opened window for a bit of cold air exchange.

 

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.

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.

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