Beginning a Home Portrait - The Initial Sketch

My newest custom painting is a portrait of a beautiful home in California. The first thing I do is to gather all the photos that the client sent me. Putting them together can be a challenge especially when there is no complete view of the house which is the case with this home. A large tree blocks the view from the street.

So it's a good thing the client sent me lots of photos from various angles:

I start with a rough sketch to get the proportions, then right on top of the sketch I make a detailed drawing in pencil including shading. I need this drawing for two reasons:
  1. Any paintings are easier for me to do with spontaneous brushstrokes if I have done the work of figuring out the composition and values (darks and lights) ahead of time. This is especially true when architecture is involved.
  2. Since a pencil drawing is easy to change,  I send the client the image of the drawing before I begin painting. If anything needs fixing, now is the best time to do it:

The client writes, "Lovely! I'm so pleased and impressed." She thinks it's a good idea that I moved the tree to the left side so it doesn't block the house and that I eliminated power lines in the distance. The Jasmine shrub near the garage should have one trunk rather than three, so I will change that. Then, since she is pleased, I can turn this into a watercolor painting. I'll post the steps I use to do the watercolor next time!

I'm happy to take custom orders! Please contact me for a custom painting or to have a print made of a painting you like.
To receive my posts by email, fill in your email address under FOLLOW BY EMAIL in the right hand column and click Submit. You'll receive my posts in your email inbox at the end of each day that a post is made.

No comments: