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.

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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 2 commission from inking

Inked

Number two commission is inked and boy did it take a while.  At 14″X9″ there is a lot of inking period, but this was complicated, too.  Getting the right black and white balance with the barn included was not easy.  I had to take more than the normal number of breaks to be able to judge the progress.  As usual, the art is better in person than in my photo.  The pastels are a breeze after the pencil layout and inking.

Commission finished

First layer of color

Finished

I finished this smaller commission and am pretty happy with it.  As an end unit of an apartment or condo building there were few special features to highlight and I had to guard against everything just looking cut off.  There was another door just to the left of the one shown, so I couldn’t even move it over to center it a bit more.

I was forced to maximize what I had. The shrubs and flowers helped, along with the concrete frog, but with the doorway off to the side, I had to make sure the colors were especially appealing. The green canopies sure helped.    I don’t know what I would have done without them to liven up the exterior.

Still, it is someone’s treasured home and I hope I did justice to it.

New commission

Penciled up

Inked in

I was just fussing around in the studio last month, trying to decide on some new marketing strategies for my artwork, when I got a new portrait commission.  It is a simple brick, end apartment/condo in Philadelphia that someone must have wonderful memories of.

At only 8×10, it didn’t take long to pencil up and ink in.  One detail that may not show up too clearly is that there is a big concrete frog in front of the flower pot.  It’s kind of hard to see it in the pictures, but it does liven up what is mostly a lava rock landscape with just a little flower bed next to the left shrub and railing.

Trixie the corgi

Painted

 

After a lot of tweaking, the corgi portrait is finished and in the client’s hands.  I think I must have fiddled with this for days longer than I normally would, continuing to adjust the ears and neckline along the way.  It took me quite a while before I felt that the “corginess” was apparent.  The eyes are no longer buggy and the nose sits properly on the face.  I was making adjustments even into the day it was mailed when I scrubbed out a bit of fur color right above the eyes.

But whew.  The client is giving this to her husband and we had to have rather clandestine communications along the way.  She was worried he would find out before hand and spoil her surprise.  I assured her that the mailing box would have no indication of what was inside, just her name as the recipient and mine as the sender.  I am happy to say it got there safely and secretly.  She told me that she cried when she saw it.  It makes me so happy to know that this fulfilled her desires for her very special gift.

Corgi dog portrait

corgi pencil drawing

Inked

My last Christmas commission was a memorial pet portrait for a dog that had very recently crossed the rainbow bridge. I was pretty nervous about it because the client wanted the ear position changed from what the photo showed – to facing forward instead of to the side.  There was no chance of getting another picture, so I just had to make do.  And with the death so recent, the image in my client’s mind was very strong and emotional.  I needed to get this right, even if the photo was not exactly what I needed it to be.  I looked at an additional photo from her that showed the upright ear position, but was too blurry to use and the client preferred this angle anyway.  I also checked a bunch of online corgi photos for additional references on ear shape and position and the width between them.

As you can see, I did change the neckline on the right side and the ears a bit. The eyes were a bit “buggy” and the nose slightly wonky at this stage, but those would be fixed once the colors went on.  I was more concerned that “Trixie” didn’t quite look corgi enough at this stage. Tweaking would need to continue.

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