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.

New Commissions

Pencil up

The woman who has had me do the wedding venue portraits as gifts contacted me a couple of weeks ago to do two more. I started the first one and, as always, it is more complicated than would first appear.  There is a lot of building there to pack into a 10×8 portrait and not have too much sky or lawn.

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.

Number three inked

Inked

Happy Mother’s Day to all today. Incuding me!!  It’s pretty chilly today as the low was only in the forties overnight and the high should be in the fifties with rain.  The lake is actually just slightly steaming.  Last year it was in the upper eighties.  Quite the difference.  Mom will be spending the day here with us, while both of my kids are in Idaho.  Hooray for FaceTime.

The inking went very quickly once I made the final decision on the placement of the house and finished the pencil up with the altered size.  It’s a good thing the house shape itself was simple because I moved it quite a few times.  There is not much in the background in terms of trees, but the landscaping in front is nice and colorful.

Number three

Pencil drawing

It was almost like the Christmas gift drawing season for a bit.  Once again, one went out and the next one came in.  I kind of like working this way.  LOL  It took a bit of testing to figure out the best placement and size before I finished the pencil up, but was pretty straight forward after that.  My standard size at this price point is 14×9, but I couldn’t make it work.  The house was pinched in at the sides and had either too much sky or too much lawn.  Fortunately, the client said do what you need to and 10×13 worked out well.

As you can see, this is a cute retirement bungalow that I am drawing because the residents have moved away.  I got to choose the color medium with this one and I decided to use the pastels.  I am still a little more comfortable using them versus watercolors at this size.

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