A third try

Inked
Pencilled in

Maybe third time is the charm. Or maybe too much, too little, and just right. Here is number three for the Speedball Elegant pen.

An experiment

inked up with the Elegant Writer Pen

I haven’t used the Speedball Elegant Writer pen technique in a while and I thought I might try it again, just for a change of pace and some fun. I thought the lily pond sketches would be sufficiently different from the paintings and provide a whole new look.

It’s been inked up now. We’ll see what happens when I spritz it with water and the ink spreads and then becomes waterproof and I can add watercolors

The finished vineyard

For a very quick set of work sessions, sometimes twice in a single day, I like the way this turned out. This is more landscape than architectural portrait. I had some difficulty with so much sky. When I was trying to add more blue above the mountains, there was an unexpected bleed up. It looks like more mountains in the distance than sky and I think it adds a positive note. I am not quite sure if this is the final photo as it doesn’t have enough contrast, but I had a mailing deadline and I just can’t remember.

The client was very happy with it, which is always the goal, anyway.

The first 2021 commission

Vineyard pencil drawing
Inked up

My first commission of the year came two weekends ago. I had to work more quickly than usual because she wanted it by a certain date for framing and I was going out of town for a few days. Still, I got my visual days of rest between phases, even though I had two work sessions in a single day and it all worked out well.

It is not your typical portrait, being mostly landscape, but it is fun none the less. Lots of green foliage and not much building, but there will be red accents here and there to help the eye move around. I don’t normally have such a vista either, so it is somewhat of an experiment, too. All in all, it came out pretty well. I’m just glad it was only 10X8.

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.

Red brick

Red brick facade

All finished with this traditional Southern red brick home. These bricks commonly feature an even coloration with not a lot of variation to it. The bay bump out and the half round window tops add lots of visual interest. That must be a rather spectacular two story foyer for an entranceway, too. Don’t forget to notice the angled soldier brick courses with a limestone keystone above the windows and garage doors. Lots of details added to make this a lovely home for a family to grow in.

Not a great deal of landscaping in the front, but it is still welcoming. The pink/white flowers are azaleas, another common southern home feature. I have tried to grow them up here in Indiana, but the are super sensitive to frost and often get burned. A large, blooming spring azalea is something to see after a dark and gloomy winter.

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.

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