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.

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!

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.

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.

Portrait number three finished

Pastels finished

Do I even know what a peachy mauve color is?  When I got the photos of this house, it was obvious that they had been taken at different seasons and in different light conditions.  In one set the house had a reddish/mauve tint, but in the other it was more pumpkin orange.  A rather large difference.  I asked for clarification and, along with some new photos, I got the word that the house could be described as a peachy mauve, with blue trim and peach spindles.  And could I make the foliage indicate the summer.

So, what did I do?  I went for the mauve first and then put peach colored pencil over the top after I sprayed on the fixative.  Evidently, I came close because everyone was happy when I delivered it.  It is a cute little house, isn’t it.  Like so many other times, I wish I could see inside.

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