Thursday, December 20, 2012

Portrait of a New England Ranch Home in Watercolor

A home where children have grown up holds a lot of emotion for a family: fond memories of parents, siblings, holidays and all the events of childhood.

It is especially poignant when the children have grown, the parents have moved to assisted living or have passed away.

The request for this home portrait came from such a family - they remember their home with great fondness and wanted to give a painting of it to their mother after the house was sold.

The only photos they had of the house when she lived there were of the house buried in 3 feet of snow. She is not fond of snow, so I had to do some changing!

Fortunately, they had also taken current photos in the summertime. Even though the house is now a different color, I could at least see the landscaping. So let's see how I painted this home:

They asked for a view from an angle rather than straight-on. So I used one of the current photos to make a nice composition.

I start by painting the sky, then decide to do all the green of the trees, shrubs and lawn using mixes of blue and yellow paint. I keep the background trees more on the blue side to visually push them back in space.

Below I paint the lawn and am adding cast shadows in the foreground. I mix greens from yellow and blue paint and add a few red streaks here and there into the wet paint.

Here is the landscaping completed:

Next I paint the gray stones, cement areas, walkway, driveway and roof. This is an initial wash of paint with no details added yet. I use a mix of blue and burnt sienna to make the gray with a touch of rose added.

Here the blue color of the siding and yellow shutters are added:

For the stone wall (I love painting stones!), I first outline the stones with a darker gray that I've mixed.

When that is dry, I add more washes of burnt sienna, red and blue to individual stones to get some variation, leaving some of them a light color:

Here I'm adding some detail to the windows:

This is the painting so far. It's almost done, but it needs a few more details like the front porch railing:

The railing is painted with a fine-tipped brush. Since there was always a wreath on the door, I add one that matches the house colors:

After a few more adjustments of light and dark and another wash to deepen the color of the siding, the painting is finished - just in time for Christmas!

I'm happy to take custom orders. Please contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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