Final pastels on the third portrait

Pastels are on

Well, I’m finally done with this set of three commissions. This was an easy one. Red brick and lots of foliage (but no flowers again). The house itself was not complicated and I layed it out quickly. I was able to establish tonal and color variation with a lot less difficulty than the gray/green combination of the last one. Still, there is a lot of inking that goes on for a 14″X9″ portrait and it does take a bit of time. As long as I am clear on the colors, the pastels are a breeze and the shortest phase.

These were fun to do as I hadn’t done any home portraits since late winter/early spring. Now I move back to my own work. I am starting to actually sell on Society6 lately and I need to figure out what designs to add to the shop there.

Home Portrait Number 3

Pencil preliminary
Inked up

Here is the third of the set of three home portrait commissions from the last 2 months. Drawing and inking this was more in the normal time frame compared to the last one. The house and landscaping were fairly straight forward and easy to lay out.

This had a lot more foliage blocking the front view so I had to cut it back and move it around somewhat to expose a larger portion of the facade. Even so, that was a lot of greenery. The house itself is rather traditional so it was pretty quick pencil up and ink in.

It has been rather nice to go back and forth between these portraits and the landscape paintings. It helps keep it interesting.

New house commission two

This is an anniversary gift. The layout and inking took about twice the normal amount of time. All of the angles for the various house segments and background vegetation seemed to take forever to draw out, but I am pleased with the results. Then I had to make delineations for all of the landscaping – foreground, mid-ground, and the rear. Then, there was all of the vertical siding. By the time I was finished, my eyes were crossed. I think it did turn out well, though. I am particularly happy with the way the trees turned out.

Inking is finished

Almost all inked up

Almost all inked up

The inking is finished, including for the house.  She got back with me concerning which of the two back porches was correct.  As I suspected, it was the screened in version versus just a railing, but I did want to put in the right one.  Notice the two little cows in the field?  They definitely are on the sketchy side, but it was hard to do more than just indicate them because of the distance away.

I worked hard on the positive/negative balance and I think it came out okay.  All of that grass had to ground the middle strip with the trees and buildings.  If I made the middle section too dark, the grasses would not be able to hold it down and the treed hills would float too much.  If I made the grasses too dark, it would all meld into one and be harder to distinguish the two areas.

This one will be colored with the hard pastels, for a change.  With such a long expanse of 18″ by almost 7″ and all of the greenery, I felt that the richness of the pastels would work better than watercolors.  The gloss fixative I use really pops the colors of the pastels and adds a depth that I find harder to do with watercolors, at least at this point in my artistic endeavors.

Next post it will be all colored up.

Inked office building

The medical office building

The medical office building

After finishing the dog portrait, I moved on to the medical office commission. I had the same problem of too small photo file size from the client, but fortunately, one of the whole building was big enough to enlarge. I penciled in the basic layout from it and have had to use pictures still on the computer to finish the inking. I can do it that way but it is much harder having to turn to the side to look at the computer rather than a photo right on my board.  I think I may try to get a white marker of sorts so I can make the works on the sign a bit clearer.  White on black is so hard to delineate and the actual lettering size is quite small.  Pastels up next so I can to have it in the mail on Wednesday.

Artwork mixed with Holiday preparations

These days I am squeezing the art and computer work in with holiday preparations and it seems like the art often loses. I find that in order to get my brain in the right place I have to block out several consecutive hours of time for the art. I have never done anything worth much when I had less than half an hour to work. I need at least that much before the “brain shift” occurs. Then there is no time while I work. It seems odd but on occasion I can actually feel the shift occur and perceptural changes. A right brain/left brain thing I guess.

I tried working with the art cards I bought a while ago. I wanted to creat some simple watercolor vignettes but it was a complete disaster. I couldn’t get inspired on any subject matter and when I tried to lay some background washes as a basis for SOMETHING, all I got was wrinkled paper. So discouraging. Needless to say, I never got in the zone. I’ll guess I’ll try some dry brush and pen and ink on them instead.

I did manage to get a few new things in my etsy shop last week, so I felt good about that. I found a picture of a stone barn that I like so I am working with it. I’ll probably finish the inking today and lightly start the color.

Today I thought I’d include a pastel/pen and ink that I did this year and feel was successful. Again it is a Florida scene. I changed the color of the gate to something I liked better.

What's Behind the Garden Gate?