The second wedding venue portrait finished


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.

New commission

Penciled up

Inked in

I was just fussing around in the studio last month, trying to decide on some new marketing strategies for my artwork, when I got a new portrait commission.  It is a simple brick, end apartment/condo in Philadelphia that someone must have wonderful memories of.

At only 8×10, it didn’t take long to pencil up and ink in.  One detail that may not show up too clearly is that there is a big concrete frog in front of the flower pot.  It’s kind of hard to see it in the pictures, but it does liven up what is mostly a lava rock landscape with just a little flower bed next to the left shrub and railing.

Boise’s Central Fire Station

Pencil up

Completed inking

The Boise Central Fire Station was finished and occupied in 1903.  It was the first fire station in Boise to house full time paid fireman in the city.

This brick structure has been described as Romanesque due to the tower, the semi-circular windows, and the symetrical patterning.  The corbelling on the tower and above the second floor add a lot of visual interest.  I don’t normally like awnings, but they do dress up the windows here.  Watercolors will be a lovely orange/red color for the brick and the awnings a darker accent.

Inking in the Ohio Tudor and starting to bundle up

Entryway inked in

Entryway inked in

Even though we had some pretty nice weather in the 40’s and 50’s this week and I wanted to be outside, I did manage to spend some time inking in the architectural.  The upper right will be light colored stucco and the timber work should be brown.  The brick is a variation of reds and I think the door will be a golden brown – or maybe darker to match the timbers.  I’ll probably change some of the color choices as I do it.  That’s always the way it is, especially when it is not a commission and I can do what I want to.  Not much of the shingle work is shown here, but that’s okay.  I decided to keep the tree in the foreground  to add a bit of depth and intimacy, but  I trimmed it back because the photo had way too much and it hid the second story.

The stuccoed area above the bay window is a bump out and that will be more clear after the color is put in.  This entry has a nice amount of limestone surrounding the doorway.  I especially liked the five carved panels up top.

I saw the heron again yesterday morning down at the lake.  He looked to be trying to fish but I don’t think he is going to be able to find anything for much longer as the water is going to freeze over soon.  We are expecting temperatures in the single digits this week.  Yuck. It will be a good time to hole up in the house and stay warm.

And I have been researching another project lately.  I’ve been looking into making some tile coaster sets with my artwork.  From what I’ve read, it doesn’t seem too complicated and yesterday I managed to crop some of the animal pieces (the cheetah, polar bear, pelican, and shore bird watercolors) and put them on one sheet of paper to print off – a real computer accomplishment for me.  You can see them at my Etsy store under the animals section if you want to.  A set of four using one of each would be nice, I think.

I may also use some of the still life paintings if this works out.  I am a little limited in my choices because I have to be able to crop them to a square for the tile.  I plan to make up one set and pass them around to use for a few months to test their durability before I actually try to sell them.

All inked in, because I’m mostly snowed in

The weather is improving here. The snow is slowly melting and perhaps I can get my car out by next weekend. Temperatures are supposed to rise into the 50’s so the odds are good.  I much prefer my car to the truck, partly because if I can drive it, the roads are mostly clear.  We have been seeing more deer lately.  They are tracking up the pristine snow with their footprints and their pawing through to the grass below.

Ohio spring

Ohio spring

With the weather shutting me in the house, I managed to get in time to ink the entryway and I rather like the way it is turning out. There is a little bit of intimacy to the flower beds and walk up to the doorway.  It still is a bit flat, with just the inking, but I will emphasize the bump out of the window and the overhangs.  I am going to use the pastels this time around. I think the the richness of the pastels will enhance the coziness of the picture.  The flowers will add a punch of color as will the slate roof.  It will be a little peek at the spring to come – my favorite season.

I’m baaack…

Entryway pencil

Entryway pencil

Hooray, I got my computer back last night and was able to download my pictures. I worked on a few small watercolors amid the holiday festivities, but I decided I wanted to do a smaller architectural again.  I have liked this Ohio entryway but not gotten around to using it and  I felt like I needed a change of pace from the larger storefront streetscapes.  I love the copper topped bay window and the curved brick of the entry bump out.   And having just seen The Hobbit movie, the  wide boarded, round topped wooden front door reminds me of a hobbit hole entry – though it is not as wide of course.  There are masses of tall flowers in the front along with some well placed shrubs.  Someone cared to make the entryway inviting.

Holiday Snows

Holiday Snows

The sun is finally shining today although the temps are still low (7 overnight, bleck, and not much improvement soon).  Here’s a picture of what we have been seeing with 3 snows in less than a week and over 16″ accumulation.  The snow storm pictures were too blurry to post. This morning I finally saw deer tracks where one pawed through the snow to expose some grass.  Not much of anything else recently, although my son did see coyotes twice, once chasing a doe up into the woods.  I don’t know how that turned out.

All colored up

Nashville streetscape in watercolor

Well, what do you think of this?  I watercolored it over the course of several days, putting on the color slowly and making sure it was completely dry between layers so it wouldn’t smear.  I wasn’t sure how much depth of color I wanted and I think I am fairly satisfied with this.  There are probably half a dozen layers of the brownish red and I am afraid of losing the subtlety of the color variations if I put too much more on.  Perhaps I will do something on a smaller scale and play with that.

I have started the pencil of the next streetscape.  I plan on using the pastels since there is much more color variation in those buildings, so the effect will totally different.

Nashville, in black and white

Nashville street

Whew, this took a lot longer to ink in than I expected. The earlier simplified architecturals only took a couple of hours, but this was more than one of the others totally finished.  I haven’t decided how abstract to go with this.   At 16″ x 12″ I am afraid if I get too far out on the colors, the buildings will get lost. But I don’t want it to be overly literal either.  The simplified lines might work against it.  I think I will just start laying the watercolor down and see where it takes me.

I will start the watercoloring after just a little bit more inking.  Here and there I left out a few detail lines that have become apparent after I let it sit for a day.

The first from Nashville

I sorted out my photos from Nashville earlier this week and, happily, I have over a dozen different streetscapes to choose from.  This doesn’t include if I decide to make some closeups of them.  It’s nice to have a new set started.

Nashville pencil

I braved the ladybugs again today to take this photo. It is hard to take the pencil photos inside under the flourescents and get anything even remotely visible.  The bugs weren’t too bad because it is cloudy and fairly windy. Because of the size, this pencil up is taking more time than usual.  I think I am going to use the watercolors on this one.  Overall, the buildings were not as colorful as some of the other ones, so I feel free to experiment.  These are basically brown brick with beige and yellow trim.  I think I can liven them up with more color.  I am also debating on the greenery.  There are two lampposts with hanging baskets and a planter on the side-walk.  I’ll have to decide if I want to add to it.

I have the next one picked out and since it has more color, I will probably do a more detailed pastel.

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