I’ve been practically chained to my studio easel for the past week, working on a “home portrait” commission. This “Grande Dame” is one of dozens of historical homes in Waxahachie. The owner purchased the home only recently and plans to begin a complete restoration in the coming year.
I began with several on on location sketching sessions. Above and below are sketches and preliminary color study completed on location.
This was a particularly difficult project in that the home sits on a huge lot with giant 100 year old trees all around it. The grounds haven’t been landscaped in perhaps 25 years…a lot of shrubs & bushes have grown too big. The house is in need of a lot of repair and a good coat of paint, so part of my job was to visualize what it will look like when the owner finishes the restoration later on this year. The entire 2nd story and most of the roof aren’t visible from the street….which was the best vantage point for painting. I had to stand up close to the front of the house, and look straight up to see how the roof, turret, and porch came together. I snapped about 20 digital “close up, detail” images and combined with my sketches, I was able to get a drawing completed. I trimmed bushes, cut down and relocated several trees…resulting in a much better composition. I included a couple of the owner’s personal yard decorations…the flag in the flower garden and 2 lawn chairs to finish it off. I like the way it turned out – it’s been a good week in the studio!