View Full Version : Farm House Portrait

Joel L
11-05-2018, 11:35 AM

Farm House Portrait. 16 inches x 12 inches. This house is located in central Iowa. I shrunk the round bush. It was 2 to 3 times the size shown in the drawing. It hid 3 of the windows on the right.

11-05-2018, 07:41 PM
Very good drawing. Thanks for sharing.

pedlars pen
11-06-2018, 04:55 AM
How very realistic looking for P&I work!
there is a watercolour softness about it in places too ! which adds greatly to the atmosphere.
Most subtle.
& YES ! shrink a bush /omit an eyesore/ add bits if it helps the picture :thumbsup: all the masters have done it throughout history to balance things /make clearer/just to make the pic more beautiful.
Only thing is if it is a commission it is wise to explain to them that you are an artist at the outset & not a photographer before you do it because a lot of folk don't get the difference :eek: - & it's a big difference.:lol:

Charlie's Mum
11-06-2018, 08:09 AM
.......you are an artist at the outset & not a photographer before you do it because a lot of folk don't get the difference - & it's a big difference.


Excellent drawing Joel - well-made use of light and shade while retaining a softness as Mike has noted above.

11-08-2018, 01:41 PM
That is just perfect as far as I am concerned. The shrubs are excellent.

11-09-2018, 12:39 PM
Absolutely fabulous!! as pointed out, you are an artist, not a photographer - the difference between a work of art and a craft, which many not see the difference, and it is a big difference for the reasons pointed out...

Watercolour lover
11-09-2018, 04:09 PM
I love it. A small nitpick: I find the foreground shadows just a bit too dark, but that may be the scanner's fault? Great technique.

11-11-2018, 11:08 PM
Wow! I'm so impressed!

I'm terrible at looking at angles and then getting them transferred to paper. (It's a bit of dyslexia- I have a hard time distinguishing which direction and angle is going in and therefore my houses look pretty alien!)

Great piece of work!

Sheila aka RoadLessTaken

11-21-2018, 12:48 PM
This is a beauty.

Joel L
11-25-2018, 10:07 PM
Thank you all for the comments! I really appreciate them!

I started doing house portraits in the mid 80's. For the first few drawings I was pretty liberal at making changes (without letting the client know what I was planning). I moved a window once to help improve the look and feel of the image (so I thought). The client loved the drawing except that window. If the window were actually where i drew it, it would be in a bookcase. Ugh. I re-redrew the drawing. Now, anything I add or move I let the client know ahead of time. I take several photos from different angles so I can remove things and know what is behind them. I also give the client multiple views to choose from. I also talk to the client about items in the photo that may have special memories attached to them. (In the above image, the scary left tree always looked liked that and so I didn't mess with that. The bush however wasn't so unique that memories were really attached to it so I could shrink it.

I also let the client know that I may add branches around the picture for framing elements but not to the point of adding a tree were there isn't. UNLESS, I have an inking problem. I've added bushes, trees, and birds to cover accidental ink drips and splashes.!! If they are too bad, I redraw.

I agree that the foreground shadows maybe too dark. They are a little more dark due to the photo, but I felt they were drawn too (a little) dark as well. I think this is because I'm trying hot-press drawing paper ( I am use to cold press watercolor paper) for the first time in years and I'm not quite use to it yet. It seems things get darker faster and catch me off guard. Is this possible or am I just imagining this?? There is more variation in shading in grass and shadows then we can see in this image. Maybe it is lost in the compression. I usually do not have enough light when take my photos of the work so I may be damaging the image quality in post.

I use to draw the house by sitting out front and drawing them. This include penciling as well as inking. But I would have to sit out front for multiple days at about the same time of day. Weather, here in Iowa, is not a friend to this process. I needed to switch to drawing from photos. I will draw a few horizontal and vertical lines over the photo so I can approximate angles a little quicker.

I think because our eyes can move and because the image we see in our eyes is projected onto a curved surface, it can be difficult to estimating angles.

I use to take a string and tie it to an eraser. I would then take a wire twist tie that would be on the bags of loaves of bread that we would get from the store and tie that to the string so it was perpendicular to the string. I could dangle the eraser with an outstretch hand to estimate angles relative to the string and twist tie. This would work in the field but it was very fiddly.

At some point, I decided the exactness isn't important as long as the error wasn't too distracting from the work. I think a little error or wonkyness is nice. I think it adds a little human warmth. That could just be a me thing.

Overall, I'm happy with the drawing. But I can't seem to find the time to draw everyday and my hands won't seem to find the rhythm for cross hatch unless I do. So I will keep trying. Thank you all very much for the comments! I really do appreciate them!

Joel L
11-26-2018, 11:57 AM
Hey Mike!

Thanks! Most of my enjoyment is in the crosshatching of a drawing. I really enjoy that aspect. I think this leads to the realism.

This image is pretty high contrast and there is actually a little more variance in values than what is shown here. But that subtleness is what I love and focus on. I did loose it in the shadows in the foreground unfortunately.

11-29-2018, 07:30 AM
This is gorgeous!

Joel L
02-01-2019, 05:35 PM
Thank you, Mark!

Scene Chaser
02-06-2019, 10:51 PM
Joel, just saw this. Very well done!

02-07-2019, 03:02 AM
Its a lovely work.

Shadows are my thing, I love them. The large foreground shadows and trees frame the building nicely and I love the way you've blended them into the lawn.

Great job.

Payne's Grey
02-07-2019, 10:52 AM
Nice! With that hatched sky and dark shadows, the white house really stands out.

Joel L
02-13-2019, 09:42 PM
Bill, Rosta, and John, Thank you very much! I was very interested in the light with this. It was a bright sunny day and I really wanted to show that! I did have to remove a lot of dead branches. I think I could have added a small portion of a branch in the upper left but I think it is fine with out it too. Thank you very much for the comment!