A last minute commission in 2020

I got a surprise home portrait commission right before Christmas. She wanted it for a gift for New Year’s and I am happy to say UPS made it in time. It is a stately home that raised children with good memories and is now being moved out of.

Finished

Inked in

Finished pastel

I was visiting with family in Idaho for the last 10 days so there was no delay on finishing this one the beginning of the month.  I had a problem with uploading the final photo before I left on the 9th, so it had to sit until I got back and could try to fix it.  Miracle of miracles, everything is fine now.  

This was hard from the standpoint of the fence in front.  The space in between the verticals was really too small for a great deal of pastel work, so I put down a base layer with some watercolors.  It turned out to be a good way to handle it.  

Then the photos showed a little bit of a discrepancy on the green board and batten on the second floor.  Some photos showed it to be more of a yellow green and in others, it was more teal green.  I made it more teal as that was the most common in the pics.  I asked for verification of the color and she said it was more yellow.  What to do.  I put a light layer of yellow colored pencil over it and when I took it in, she said it was perfect  What a relief.  

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.

Finished pastel

Western colors

This one was finished with pastels, which I prefer for larger (14×9) portraits.  I typically add a bit of concentrated color in the smaller areas with colored pencils when I am using pastels.  I find the only problem with pastels is that, as hard sticks, it is more difficult to do the little details.  And I hate to waste so much drawing material just to sharpen one for brief use.  I also like the richness of color that the gloss sprayed pastel gives to a larger piece.  Watercolors tend to have a bit of an ethereal quality for me and I like the more solid effect on bigger architectural portraits.

There is not a lot of color as the landscaping is more minimal, fitting in with a desert setting.  I have not mailed it out yet as the person who commissioned it will not return to the city for a few weeks.  Then, out it goes.

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.

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