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.

Finished pastel

Finished pastel

The second one was a pastel and I had a devil of a time with the colors.  The upper siding was a beige color with the garage doors and trim brown.  Add in the green door and shutters, the cream/red/brown brick, and it was quite the mix.  I ended up starting with the red brick, then moving to the brown and green accents, and finally to the siding.  I kept having to erase the color overmarks onto the light siding area and figured I would just leave it until last.  Then the shading ended up being too red and I had to shade it back towards the blue.  Finally, after fussing a bit, I decided I was done.

I do like to do the pastels for the coloring on the larger ones (14X9 and above.)  I think it allows a richer color from the gloss fixative compared to the watercolors.  The only drawback is the fixative spray has quite the obnoxious odor.  I try to spray outside, but that is not always possible in the winter. Then it’s off to the storeroom with a slightly opened window for a bit of cold air exchange.

 

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.

 

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..

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

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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