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.

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.

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.

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