The last portrait is out and a new one is in.

Pencil drawing

On the day I mailed the last commission, I started another.  At 20″X14″, this is a large one.  I rarely do something this big.  When I point out to a potential client that the framed painting would be about 24″X18″, some reconsider.  A piece of art that big really needs its space. However, in this case, it will be hung over a king sized bed so it should be fine.

This a gift for a parent selling the  long time family home and it has an unusual addition.  The barn was added as a special memory even though it is not located exactly where it is placed.  We went through several renditions of the barn’s size and exact location before it finally ended up there, looking like that.  It was hard not to make it a second focal point and I will have to leave it a little bit softer so it doesn’t take too much attention away from the house.  After a day of inking, I am only about 20% or done.  Slow going.  There is a lot of landscaping in there and I am combining some photos, so I have to be careful with the perspective.

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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.

New home portrait for Boise Idaho has been mailed

Finished

My second home portrait Christmas commission is finished and gone.  As it was a new build, I enlarged the landscaping and greened up the grass to help it settle into the landscape.  It was kind of fun to do a portrait from a far away place that I had actually visited near.

I did hear from the client that it safely arrived and that she was delighted.  I had wrapped it so that she couldn’t see it directly on opening the shipping box and she said it was like her own Christmas!  So happy she is happy.

A new commission

pencil drawing

Inked up

The season for Christmas commissions has finally started for me.  This project is a little bit unusual.  I have never drawn a vehicle before, but I had a request for this one.  This is an old decommissioned post office in Missourt that was sold to a private owner who has turned it into offices for entrepreneurs.

One of the tenants commissioned me to paint this as a gift for him and wanted me to include the owner’s bright red truck.  I believe this ranks right up there with the black dog for my first pet portrait commission in the difficulty (and trepidation) scale.  Still, I think it is turning out right and my husband says it looks good. I have it mostly done now and letting it sit and percolate a day or two before I ship it out.  There are a small new home portrait and a dog portrait in the queue next so there will be lots of work to show up until Christmas.

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