Kind of meh

Inked in
Watercolored

First of all, let me wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day. We are expecting some accumulating snow this week. Not really my thing, but what can you do. More time in the studio for me.

I made this quick pen and watercolor just for something different. It’s okay, but I feel kind of blah about it. Not bad but not overly engaging. I have painted this in acrylics twice before, but wanted to try it in ink and watercolors.

A last minute commission in 2020

I got a surprise home portrait commission right before Christmas. She wanted it for a gift for New Year’s and I am happy to say UPS made it in time. It is a stately home that raised children with good memories and is now being moved out of.

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.

Finished with pastels

This was a hard one. I probably had at least an extra day in each phase, if not two. The house itself was very complicated to lay out with its almost modular, broken up form, as were the trees in the landscaping. Colorwise, it is almost bi-chromatic (is that a word?) being predominantly gray and green. I had to find a way to accent with some other colors for establishing depth and visual interest. Fortunately, even if there were no flowers to speak of, I was able to use the pink of the garage doors and some yellow in the grass and trees to help break up the color. The chimney and the patio furniture helped some too. I ended up being pleased with it. It is actually one of the few portraits that I have done that I could see the finish of in my head before I started. Mostly I let portraits take me where they want to go. For some reason, this was different.

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.

All of the color is on

I finished this recently and it has been delivered. The yellow siding was a bit intense with the red brick and green shutters, but it worked out okay. Not as much with the landscaping in this one, especially for flowers. I like having lots of flowers because it is usually a nice pop of color across the portrait, but what can you do. I don’t think this is actually the last phase of the picture, but it is the last photo I took. I’ve been busy and I think I had a brain cramp.

Nash

Nash the French bulldog

It took 5 sessions, but I finally finished Nash the French bulldog’s portrait.  He has a rather complicated pattern of coloring on his face, I guess to make up for the fact that his body is all white.  That raccoon mask gives him a rather distinguished look, don’t you think?  Anyway, he is off to his new home this week.

Nash, Trip’s new little brother

Nash the French bulldog

Trip the French bulldog got little brother recently. As often occurs, there might be a bit of sibling rivalry going on just yet.  You will love his little bandit mask face.

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.

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