Home Portrait Painting in Watercolor

The initial drawing is done for this portrait of a California home and in this post, I'll show you how I did the watercolor.

Since there was a big tree blocking the view of the house from the road, it was not possible to get a complete photo of the house. So I assembled all the photographs that were sent and put the house together from the photo references.

When it came time to do the painting, I decided to eliminate some of the foreground and zoom in closer on the house itself. I enlarged my drawing and transferred it to watercolor paper.

Then I washed in a summer sky and added some trees in the distance:

Sometimes I like to work from top to bottom on a painting. But this time I want to paint everything else then work my way to the focal point which is the house.

So I paint the foreground tree - do you like how I moved it to the left so it no longer blocks the house? Artistic license at work.

More foreground work including shrubbery, the sidewalk and driveway:

Moving closer to the house, I paint in the foundation plantings:

And finally, on to the house starting with a base color for the windows which have maple blinds:

I've mixed some colors to match the beige of the house. Cast shadows always are nice, so I've painted shadows cast by the trees onto the sidewalk and house.

I've also added the client's pretty purple and white Agapanthus flowers:

More detail work on the windows, carrying over the tree shadows onto the window panes. Then short lines will be added to indicate the maple blinds:

Now everything is done but the roof...

...which I paint in a medium brown color using some short horizontal lines to denote roof tiles:

Here is the finished portrait:

At this point, I think it's a good likeness, but what matters is whether the client thinks so too. So I send her an image before mailing out the finished painting to get her feedback.

Happily, this is what she says:
"Magnificent! The details are astonishing - the shutters, the weather vane, the front porch light, everything. Also, the plants are so true to life! My husband is going to be so surprised and delighted. I can't wait to see his face when he opens the present."
After all that work, that is the kind of response I like to hear! She also said she'll send me a photo of it once they frame it. I hope she does - that would be delightful!

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