Friday, June 30, 2017

Stately Home

"Stately House"
10x20 acrylic on stretched canvas
commissioned piece - NFS

I realized this evening that I've been long overdue with posting new work on my blog as well as on my FB page. Art fans, please forgive me - it has been a hectic 2017 (so far)! I have been painting some commissioned pieces, and I am going to see if I can catch up with my posts over the next few days.

This home is in New Jersey and was a recent commission piece. It is a unique, historic sandstone home and I have to admit, I was quite nervous at first on how I would paint it. All that stone, and texture on the roof, the numerous windows, roof peaks - ai yi yi! But I started with the sky, then worked each "piece" of the puzzle, one by one. The chimneys, the roof (or should I say roofs?), the eaves were next with their numerous points & shadows. Then it was time to start the windows - again, one by one. 

It always amazes me that what I think will be "easy" ultimately gives me the most challenge. I've done countless windows, but these - getting the symmetry correct, the centered position on some, the rounded tops on some. Even the front door! All a challenge. But I continued, section by section, piece by piece.

Once all the doors and windows were in, I sat frozen. Because next was the sandstone!!! One evening I spent time with my see-through ruler, drawing lines. Many lines, many different shapes & sizes -- all to represent the "stones" as I thought I saw them in the supplied photos. Here's a photo of that stage - and If you notice, the bottom right windows were not painted in yet. I was having a devil of a time getting them  positioned correctly! 

One the sketching was done, the painting sat & waited for me to finally pick up a brush & start working on the stones. Again, section by section:

Eventually, I had all the stones, and all the windows - last I added the front stairs & shrubbery. It was done but I wasn't quite satisfied with it. So I walked past it for a few days, stopping to look then kept walking. What was missing? Then I suddenly realized it needed better shadows, better darks & lights. 

I worked the shadows over the course of 1 week, tweaking here & there until I was satisfied. When I sent an image of the painting to the buyer, they pointed out that there was a bit of the building missing on the left side (it was lost in dark shadows in the supplied photos). My heart sank at the thought of this painting being wrong & rejected! 

But nothing is permanent to an artist, and with a bit of work on both sides of the painting, the building & it's sides were in place and the whole image was in balance. 

The painting will be delivered to it's now owner next week, he is quite happy with the outcome. 

So am I!

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