View Full Version : House Portrait - Composition

09-11-2005, 05:30 PM
Hi everyone... My Mother and Stepfather have sold their farm and will be moving to the city in a couple of weeks... I took some photos today of their home and yard...

I wish to paint something for them, but cannot decide which would be best...

The front of the house:

The back of the house:

Theirs is a beautiful yard... here are a few of their flowers:




The footbridge over the creek, to the barn:

The barn and well:

So... as you can probably see, their home and yard is very special to them... they're really having a difficult time with the thought of moving... The house painting really needs to be special... evoking all that you see here and more... It's a tall order...

I'm thinking that the back is probably the nicest view of the house... and they spend each morning under the little canopy having their coffee...

But... I'd like your advice and thoughts... and if you feel I need to get more photographs, please say so... I do have a few more, but they're mostly repeats of what's here...

09-11-2005, 06:56 PM
Have to say CharM -what a lovely place to live - personally I would go for the back of the house - it is such a pity that the front is obscured so much by the trees. Of course my personal favourite is the barn - you know I love wooden buildings.....lol. I couldnt snag it by any chance could I?

Pat ( putting on what she feels is a suitably pleading expression on her face)

09-11-2005, 06:57 PM
Hi Char...

What a lovelyl home... I can't imagine having to leave such a beautiful place...

I think the back view is wonderful and that they would love it!! Maybe you could do a small painting of the footbridge to go along with it??


09-11-2005, 06:58 PM
Hi Char....
What about doing a "collage" of vingettes? Or the back view with all the garden elements surrounding it?


mr sandbanx
09-11-2005, 07:11 PM
Hey Char, would go for the front of the house... in winter, or late fall. Once the trees afford you a decent view...

09-11-2005, 07:15 PM
Char, I once did a portrait of my Aunt's cottage that she had at Rondeau. I did one of the front and one of the back. They were put in a mat with two "holes" one above the other. Although it was done when I was first starting out, I thought it turned out quite well.
Maybe something like that, or what Lauren says, a collage of several different views.
Bye the way, I love the barn photo the best!

09-11-2005, 07:26 PM
Lauren just expressed what I was thinking... the back view,
with lots of the flowerbeds ... and if you have the time another
of the footbridge and barn... that way all the elements are
covered... And you really could leave out some of the dense
trees and foliage, could you not?

Jo in Georgia ...

09-11-2005, 07:27 PM
How about a group of three, front,back and footbridge? you could ask them what is their favorite place to look at while sitting in the yard or looking out of the windows. When I think of some of the places I have loved and lived in what comes to my mind is not the view of the house but what I saw from my windows.

Love Otter

09-11-2005, 07:40 PM
Hi Char ,
What an adorable House.
I personally like your Pic of the back too. I don't like Paintings of Houses that have wide expanses of garage showing , but it is hard to avoid. Monster old Trrees that cover the House are a problem too.
When I did House comiss's eons ago ,I would do an angle shot so the driveway was mostly eliminated or at least a thin line. That might work.
Good Luck , I know you 'll do a great job on it !

09-11-2005, 08:23 PM
Honestly... I'm :crying: ... you guys are just the best... this is really hard...

Mother is giving away so many of her things... that's why we had to pick up her dining room table and chairs... while we were there, she gave me her sofa table... and a rattan chaise lounge... (that was for my birthday)... She's gotten rid of ALL her books! :eek: The list goes on and on...

Anyway... I must stop being maudlin... All of your ideas are good... I think I'll do the back and incorporate some of their flowers... I only posted a few... I still have skiddles of pics of their other gardens... Then... when I have more time, I'll do the front as Chris suggested... an autumn version would be nice... and, a spring version of the footbridge... the clematis is flowering then along with all the day lilies along the creek banks... it would look so pretty...

So... I was planning on doing a full sheet... but if I plan three paintings, should I do them on half sheets???

Pat... paint the barn! To the left is my Pop's little greenhouse... he starts all his flowers there every year... the well is a working one... Pop built the stonework around it...

Oh... and I know the pic is a little dark... but there's a HUGE tree trunk at the back of the house... that trunk is part of the Florida room inside!!! It's pretty neat...

09-11-2005, 08:25 PM
Ohh, I can understand it being hard for them, what a wonderful place!!!

My choices would be a) back of house or b) footbridge with Barn but less tree. You might try footbridge and barn just for yourself - you know, that landscape you have always wanted to paint :evil: :p

Celeste McCall
09-11-2005, 08:38 PM
That's going to be a toughy.

Well, I would pick the 4th from the top....but I would get them to sit out there by it and drinking a cup of coffee. That would be really interesting....but....not what you're looking for either.

The back view has a bit more of diagonals in it. Wish that there was a little trail to lead up to the house.

Or crop it to just the middle of the back of the house...with the flowers in front. That looks pretty good through a almost closed fist. :)

The flowers are gorgeous. What a beautiful place. I know that they will miss it terribly.

09-11-2005, 10:28 PM
Thanks again, everyone...

That stupid creek has been the source of many, many scoldings... everyone one of the grandkids has fallen into that creek from the footbridge... trying to capture frogs, chasing after tadpoles or just plain getting into mischief...

I love that little corner, too, Celeste...

Here's my favourite picture of them... Pop had just started training the rose arbour... check out his sideburns!!


Kate Mc
09-12-2005, 12:46 AM
Char, what a wonderful gift! I also vote for the back of the house and/or the barn. I could tell immediately that the back of the house was where they spent the most time.

If it were me, I'd take some more pics, too. Not to change anything, but to search for details and lighting. Just MHO.

HEY! I've just had another idea! What if you post a "challenge", and have folks here choose one or more images and paint them? Then you could have a LOT of gifts for your folks and show them that we all like their farm too.

Kate, who'd probably paint the barn.

09-12-2005, 03:02 AM
Hi Char....
What about doing a "collage" of vingettes? Or the back view with all the garden elements surrounding it?


My exact thoughts, Char, a larger house portrait surrounded by vignettes of farm scenes, including fields and hills if possible, topped off by an olde worlde banner title arcing across the top.

This is the style of many tourist posters you can buy over here. In fact you have just inspired me to put together one of Newburgh village scenes from the house portraits I did.


09-12-2005, 08:26 AM
I have found that perylene maroon is a very god color when painting red barns.

09-12-2005, 09:28 AM
I'd go along with the rear view, especially if you could get the shading from a 10 or 2 o'clock sun.....those chimneys would look great with some sun on them....
Ditch the foreground ditch I think.
Now if that barn was black.........hmmmm
Good luck......

09-12-2005, 10:04 AM
Char: I am of a different mind. Vignettes would be nice and could be done over time. I would suggest trying to capture the essence of what makes the place special to your parents. I try to focus on one aspect of a house or building after concentrating on what makes it important or interesting to me or the owner. For instance, Mr. Barton took his Saturday and Sunday morning paper and coffee on the side porch of his house (if you recall the piece I posted recently; also in my sig line). With that purpose in mind, I would go for a view of the porch/arbor where they spent most of their time. I like the post covered with Morning Glory and if that is the area where they spent time that is what I would paint. The light is dramatic and you could do alot with the shadows and contrast. That being said, I like the flower garden idea too. You are such a master with the flora. Just my thought for what they are worth. Good luck.

Are the pictures of the barn and morning glory post snaggable?

Gary B.
09-12-2005, 11:27 AM
Hey there Char,

I can imagine they are having a difficult time leaving this special place.

If you're just doing one picture, I'd agree with you that the back view is the way to go -- especially since that is where they spend their time. Although the front view seems like the more conventional and, perhaps, formal house portrait vantage point, I like the feel of this place from the rear.

09-12-2005, 12:15 PM
I like the idea of a big piece with little pictures, too.

I was thinking 1 Big and 3 down the right hand side
1 big and a little one in each corner.

Charming place, can understand why they would be miss it

09-12-2005, 03:54 PM
Count me in on the vignette idea or the multi-paintings on one sheet. I feel that if you only do one view you will be leaving so much more out of it. I do hope you also consider tucking the barn in somewhere as well. It too, is part of the whole. Lovely photos. Do you have any panoramic pictures of things to get a feel for their relationship to each other?

Celeste McCall
09-12-2005, 06:52 PM
You could do a Thomas Kinkade type:



:D :D :D Sorry, but I had to guess at the windows....I now see that I must have missed some. :o

09-12-2005, 07:14 PM
The picture that applealed most to me to paint was the back of the house........ it is such very interesting shapes......and I feel will make the most interesting and lasting memory picture.........
while the flowers are somewht ephemeral and the planting and arrangements can be re-created....... the house never can......... and that back view suggets so many rooms INSidE that will bring back memories for them.........as well as the garden and their favourite place to sit and admire it

personally I would go for one big pic........ not multiple vignettes....... IMO as they get older they will not want to be standing close to it and peering at smaller sections, they will want to sit back in their comfortable chairs and gaze at it and reminisce :)

Sorry to confuse you even more ...........

09-13-2005, 08:41 AM
Hi everyone... you've been soooo helpful... I do know that I need to go back and take more photos... I agree that the back of the house is a good place to start... and the creekbank adds nothing to the composition...

I like the vignette ideas... I've seen it done... I don't think I can work up a good composition, though...

At some point, I'll likely paint the barn... if not for my Mother and Stepfather, for myself...

JT... your point is well taken regarding the flower beds... I can paint those at my liesure and over time, give them to Mother...

Celeste... I like that look... I don't have the skills to pull it off!

Heck... I don't have the skills to paint a house portrait!!!! :eek:

All photos are snaggable... I'd enjoy seeing what other artists do with some of these images...

09-13-2005, 08:57 AM
Heck... I don't have the skills to paint a house portrait!!!!
Yeah, right :rolleyes: ....like heck you don't!! Don't make me come over there and shake my finger at you!!!! :mad: :D

You can do anything you set your mind to!


Celeste McCall
09-13-2005, 02:37 PM
Yes, Patty, I agree.....if she doesn't have the skill do paint anything that she wants....then I need to take up knitting! She's better than me by a long shot! ;)

I've not seen anything that Char couldn't paint...and paint beautifully.

I can't wait to see the finished painting, in fact.

:) :) :)

09-13-2005, 06:59 PM
I'm ok... not stressed...

You guys have more faith in my abilities than I have confidence... I'll be doing my best... it IS special...

09-13-2005, 07:43 PM
Char - you know how to go about it. If you can paint the corn then you should have no problem doing this which has so much love going into it. Just one brush stroke at a time! :D :D

10-13-2005, 01:53 PM
Ok... a month later... I've screwed up my courage and I'm drawing this out on a FULL SHEET... my first LARGE painting... talk about jumping in with both feet! :eek:

I never did get an opportunity to snap more photos... with the rain off and on, and getting things ready for their *move*, we were just too busy... so... this is the crop/manip that I'm going with... I think...


I eliminated the air conditioner in the wall (it was just an eye-sore) and I added her silky terrier on the patio. I eliminated the aerial tower and extended the grassline, removing most of the flower garden.

Here's Stevie... he's really small, but I think that my parents will be sooo pleased that he's in the painting...


Should I just eliminate the flower garden in the foreground entirely???

Is there too much grass in the foreground???

Help!! I'm drawing this out today!!! :D

10-13-2005, 02:07 PM
Char , I assume that you are going to move the Flower patch from dead center. What the Visual center would be,would be my looming question, There is so much interesting stuff , Dog , Flowers, House Pattern. This is a tough one .Phew!

10-13-2005, 02:19 PM
hmmmm... no, I hadn't planned to move it, June... I know that, compositionally, it's in a BAD place... talk about dead centre... but it's their yard... acchhh... what a quandry!!!

The way this house is sprawled out, there's just not a good angle to catch it from... :(

I'm really trying to capture 35 years of memories in one painting... maybe I'm reaching too far...

10-13-2005, 02:27 PM
Char, speaking from a personal point of view instead of artistic, this painting is of years of memories. Did your mom and dad love that little flower garden? Does it have meaning to them? That is how I'm looking at this particular composition.


oops, we cross posted..... sorry about that! :D

10-13-2005, 02:35 PM
Hi G/f

I am going to suggest a tighter crop ( though you could extend it to the right if that's possible) which moves the flowerbed from dead cantre......and focuses on the house.......http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Oct-2005/4661-jt_chars_house.jpg

It also gives you a dominant triangular /diagonal theme for the composition


just food for thought :)

And stop worrying about it.......... its only paper & OPAT !!!!!!

10-13-2005, 02:42 PM
ive just gone back to the original pic........ and recropped :)


this also leads you through the little pillars on the rhs into another piece of garden :)

mmmmmmm looking again dont think theyre pillars but attached to the strange object in the front......... the vent pipe ???

OH..... and you need to take a bit off sky off to as in your original crop........Ill go do that now :D


10-13-2005, 02:47 PM
If you're thinking of cropping the bottom, I do like the crop
done just below the flower grouping ... putting more emphasis
on the house than the foreground...

Jo in Georgia

10-13-2005, 02:48 PM

I can't lose all those *&^%$!! chimnies...

My stepfather stuccoed this house.

He built the addition to the left with the big chimney.

He remodeled their kitchen, adding a counter level fireplace... hence the chimney on the right, just above the little cabana.

He built the Florida Room around that big tree (now a stump) and also put a fireplace in there... chimney in the middle...

All the gardens were dug by him and planted by my Mother...

It's a shame I can't show you some of the inside... he plastered all the walls and there are porticos, medallians and mouldings everywhere... the natural stone fireplaces were laid by his hands with granite mantles and plinths... He laid all the hardwood floors... in the dining room, he laid a houndstooth check with different woods... when the light catches it, it takes your breath away...

Thanks, Emilie...

Thanks, JT... I thought your suggestion was perfect until I realized that the right chimney was gone...

10-13-2005, 02:52 PM
Char, stand up, sit down, take a breath!!

Decision--house portrait or emphasis on garden.

That's the decision that I see that you need to make now.

Later, you can paint whichever one you don't choose now.

Whatever you decide, you'll do swell! :D



10-13-2005, 02:54 PM
Char................. they will KNOW the chimney is there. ....its just that theyre turning slightly to the right as they look......... and recognising THAT view of the house............ which is the one you picked because it made the best painting !!!!! and it puts furrkid more into the pic :) ( see the final version of crop Ive now posted :) The PAINTING has to work for you or you wont be happy with it when its finished. .....and its not like they've comissioned you a specific view !!!!!

takes hands of decreasing ( hooray ) hips


Hope Im not being insensitive .............

10-13-2005, 03:02 PM
still :crying:

Ok... my Stepfather is terminally ill... he doesn't know I'm doing this...

I want to get it right...

I'm so proud of everything he's done... and he's done so much!!!

You guys are right...

so then... here's another view... it's kind of wonky, though... and the left hand chimney is out of sight... can I work with this???


10-13-2005, 03:26 PM
How about something like this ?? I like it.....


10-13-2005, 03:33 PM
JT... I love you to death!!! You and I are on the same wavelength... I took out the left tree and roughed in the chimney... I can eliminate the overhanging tree branches and stuff... and then decide where to put Stevie (the dog)...


Will it work???

10-13-2005, 03:50 PM
Its my opinion that you are "stuck with the flowers in the center....


I also lightened it up a little so I colud see into the shadows....I see nothing wrong with the flowers this way....just play them down a little....
Those chimneys are a house painters dream.....and they become the center of interest....I also like JT's crop and would have gone with that, but then you lose the chimney on the left....
Maybe *cheat* a little and bring some of the foliage across that blank wall on the left....
Unless you are in a rush, I'd wait for Shelly P to weight in.....
Have fun.....

10-13-2005, 04:09 PM
Hi Brian... and thank you... I think we x-posted... did you see this second manip I did? The left chimney would be kissing the edge of the paper, but I think it'll work... this one also eliminates the foot-worn portion of the lawn that leads to the footbridge...

My question for you, would be about the foliage and the sky... you've discussed rooftops many times... If I exaggerate the lighting, so that portion of the roof in direct sunlight is very, very pale, will the sky behind it need to be darker? Eliminating that bit of tree branch that's dead centre will help... And will fall colours be just too much earth tone?... given the colour of the brickwork, stucco and roof?

10-13-2005, 04:28 PM
Sorry I vanished.... Sue, my mate from Blakesley phoned ....... we were due a long chat......... yes I like what youve done adding chimney back ......... so once youve sorted the roof v. sky with Brian you can begin ...... :eek: (only joking)

Glad I could confirm what you were thinking ;) it'll be great....... a really interesting viewpoint and a non central flowerbed......... and the whole house in :)

10-13-2005, 04:34 PM
Char, I'm here to cheer you on! I know you can do it! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Oct-2005/31898-aniCheerleader.gifhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Oct-2005/31898-aniCheerleader2.gifhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Oct-2005/31898-aniCheerleader3.gif

Okay, I confess, I was a cheeleader for one year at highschool...but I did it as a dare! :D ;)

Anyway, you go girl!


10-14-2005, 12:53 AM
I just found this, and am pulling up a chair.. Firstly..........(((((Chars Pop))))) (((((Chars Mom))))) (((((Char)))))

I have read through the whole thread..:)

Char I like what you have come up with, (All those photos' could be paintigns you know) but I want to ask, is that an old tree stump in the corner of the building on the left????

10-14-2005, 02:58 AM
Sorry Char I missed this one. Lots and lots of advice, and no painting!!!!

The fear is within you!!

To me Brian's view above with more of the grassy foreground to lead in and a little reconstruction of the trees will display this house much better. Maybe a tweak of the position of the centre bed, and play it down like Brian said.

It is just a pity that there isn't a windo in the second storey, all that repetition of rectangles is dragging the eye, but I'm sure some 'purple' there will manage to detract.

How about doing a quarter sheet of this first, why? Well my first full sheet on something I love this much would put the fear of God into me too, and maybe this is why your not painting this. A quarter sheet would answer a lot of questions too, you wouldn't need to reduce the size either, just do a crop and paint an interesting bit, maybe the left side which you so nearly left out.

When it's done sit back look at it and then think about the size you really want to do. Are they moving into a house large enough to take a full sheet with frame, a well painted half sheet, and even a quarter sheet can evoke more memories than a full sheet, where detail will be more paramount.

Sorry more to think about, but not really, it's just a way to get some paint settled on paper, and then to re appraise what you've got.

10-14-2005, 06:03 AM
I just found this, and am pulling up a chair.. Firstly..........(((((Chars Pop))))) (((((Chars Mom))))) (((((Char)))))

I have read through the whole thread..:)

Char I like what you have come up with, (All those photos' could be paintigns you know) but I want to ask, is that an old tree stump in the corner of the building on the left????

JJ :)

He built the Florida Room around that big tree (now a stump) and also put a fireplace in there... chimney in the middle...

post 36 slow down your speed reading g/f ;) :D

10-14-2005, 06:12 AM
JJ :)

post 36 slow down your speed reading g/f ;) :D

:D You must be getting bored, counting my posts..;)

So I guess the stump stays.. :cat:

10-14-2005, 06:23 AM
:D You must be getting bored, counting my posts..;)

So I guess the stump stays.. :cat:

Bored ???? NO. Cross eyed possibly :D:D at 25K plus posts maybe I should get you pay for my new specs :evil: Or perhaps you need some yourself :wink2: :wink2: :wink2:

Now can I help it if you're posting in the threads Im subscribing to after long study and read every entertaining word you write :cat: :cat: :cat: [[hug]]

10-14-2005, 06:27 AM
Bored ???? NO. Cross eyed possibly :D:D at 25K plus posts maybe I should get you pay for my new specs :evil: Or perhaps you need some yourself :wink2: :wink2: :wink2:

Now can I help it if you're posting in the threads Im subscribing to after long study and read every entertaining word you write :cat: :cat: :cat: [[hug]]
:p :angel: :evil: :cat: :)

10-14-2005, 09:16 AM
Ok... I confess that I'm still vacillating over which composition to choose... decisions... decisions...

My hubby prefers the first one with the central flower bed... I prefer the second one that needs to have the chimney rebuilt...

Letting this sit for a day or so...

JT... you help is very much appreciated... you DO know that, eh?

Patty... I was to *fat* to be a cheerleader... :envy:

JJ... the Florida Room was built around that tree... it was a huge Maple and really beautiful in its day... It got hit by lightening and Pop had to cut it down... the stump is PART of the room...

Hi Kev... they do have a lot of artwork... but they would make room for a full sheet painting of their old home... Here's a thought... I was planning to elminate the air conditioning units built into the walls... I could leave them there... thoughts?

JJ... JT wasn't counting your posts, she was identifying the Post Number where my explanation of the stump was...

10-14-2005, 10:50 AM
Yep, I would leave the air con, it breaks down the blocks and it is there anyway!!

Are you thinking of leaving the Gay Zebra in? I think it adds something to the right side, as I inspect I can't see a window in the side wall behind it, so it would look a little stark if it were gone.

Kate Mc
10-14-2005, 10:58 AM
Char, I just found this! I'm interested in your thinking process here. Thanks for sharing it with us. And thanks to others who have shared theirs.

I'm just going to sit back and learn. And cheer, of course!

Ok, I have to say something :D ......I agree with Brian about the flower bed. It would make a better composition if it were somewhere else, but it seems to me that if they put the flower bed there they'll notice if you move it. This painting is their memories, and if it is a less than perfect composition, then so be it. Our memories are often less than perfect too, as are the people in them--THAT's why they're interesting!

Just MHO.

Kate, who's got chocolate. Anybody want some???

10-14-2005, 11:17 AM
Still looking at that blank sheet of paper?....
I think it...autumn trees....would be too much.
I will argue, til the cows come in from the back pasture, that the star attraction in this house are those chimneys....but I can understand why you want to paint all those flowers....c/w purple shading.....
I can just feel the burnt sienna dripping all the way down them...the chimneys. ;-)
If you have the time, why not go with Kev's advice about creeping up on that full sheet.
I am very hesitant about giving my suggestions on what is going to be a labour of love for you....so will leave you with it......
Well, on second thought....leave out the air conditioner, the rain gutter, the wire and the TV aerial...;-)
Is it possible that the sun would shine from the 10 o'clock position? That would give you a nice shadow on the main house wall that Kev was mentioning.
Go girl....

Celeste McCall
10-14-2005, 12:03 PM
I still like the crop in post #22. :)

I think that it makes the house look bigger.....leaves a little to the imagination and has a more dynamic diagonal than the new pick which is looking 'straighter on'. And I added that darker sky to give it a much more cohesive look.

If it was mine I'd get rid of the air conditioner. It's kind of like painting a wart on someone's nose. A romantic rendition is much more appreciated by the viewer than a 'good, bad and ugly' version of someone's portrait. So, I think the same about a house.
We don't remember the electric lines, the air conditioners, etc.

I'm still hoping that you'll do a #22 rendition.....except not put in the glowing windows....LOL

The little dog is precious and a great addition. ;)

Good luck with whatever you do with this.....looking forward to seeing it. ;) ;) :) :) :)

Celeste McCall
11-02-2005, 11:03 AM
Hi, I was wondering if you were getting the time to work on this yet? :) :) :)

11-02-2005, 11:22 AM
Oh Celeste .......... you are pushy!!!! But I like you!!!

Yeah come on Char how ya doing? :D

11-02-2005, 12:35 PM
Hiya!!! All that I have done is block in the sky... I'm finding it difficult to *bend over* the full sheet... HOWEVER... When I retired, I had $320 in Curry's Gift Certificates given to me... Yesterday, I purchased a Lobo Easel, so I can work sitting or standing... It will be here (according to Curry's Shipping Department) by the weekend! This is going to be my Mother's Christmas Gift, so come h*ll or high water, I must finish it! :D

11-03-2005, 07:31 AM

I just now discovered this thread and don't have time to read page 2 this morning, but I want to see what happens next and what you finally decide to do for a composition. It is like a good book that I will return to later.

Love the discussion on page 1 though. ;)


11-07-2005, 06:16 PM
It will be here (according to Curry's Shipping Department) by the weekend!

well??????????????????????????????????????????????????? :D

11-07-2005, 06:22 PM
Curry's still have my easel... The warehouse didn't have one in stock, but their store in Toronto did...

So, I had to telephone the store in Toronto... but they don't ship and the warehouse does...

So, I had to call the warehouse back... then the Toronto store again... The Toronto store is shipping it to the warehouse... who will then ship it to me...

As of today, the warehouse had not received the easel from the Toronto store...

And then... there's the saga of the Gift Certificates... The Toronto store would not honour them over the telephone... they wanted me to mail them to their store... *laughing*... nope... The warehouse people said we'd worry about that step when they get the easel...

Nothing... I mean, NOTHING, in life is easy...

Had I ordered this from the Daniel Smith store, I would have had it by now... gotta love Canadian Customer Service...

I don't even want to tell you about the fights I've had (since Friday) with my Company's Pension Department, and the Ontario Ministry of Health (to get Matt's Health Card renewed)... In total, I've probably put 20 hours in, just talking to people who don't give a rat's *ss about much of anything... grrrrgh...

And all this is probably WAY more than you wanted to know... *smiling* I'm ok.

11-07-2005, 06:29 PM
.... and all that wid a code id de dose and a temperature. ..........poor Char ....... I soo sympathise


11-07-2005, 06:45 PM
Nothing... I mean, NOTHING, in life is easy...

Nope..:( :) (((((Char)))))

11-09-2005, 06:46 PM

Well what do ya think Char ???

Think they have enough Chimlies.... LOL

Nice place to crash.. huh.. Gorgeous.


Celeste McCall
11-16-2005, 02:52 PM
HI Char,
Still interested in seeing your progress when this gets started. :) :) :)

11-16-2005, 04:41 PM
Me too....

11-19-2005, 02:07 PM
no pressure or anything:D ;)

11-19-2005, 06:52 PM
;) My Hibiscus is still where it was when you last saw it..:) hugs..

12-01-2005, 01:55 PM
Hi everyone... firstly, I must tell you that I'm really enjoying painting on such a big piece of paper!!! AND, I love my new lobo easel (my ex-Staff are such thoughtful people...)

My Stepfather has been very, very ill and in hospital with yet another surgery... consequently, I've been working on this only catch as catch can...

However, I'm finally beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel... so, here we are... please don't even comment on those dreadful trees... I know they're bad... even though I did some studies, clearly, I need to do more...



12-01-2005, 02:02 PM
Dont be down on yourself, Char - it looks wonderful so far - including the trees.

Waiting for shadows ; :D


12-01-2005, 02:05 PM
Hi Char.... Sending prayer, hugs and comfort your way....

I think maybe the tree leaves are too separate... they don't blend together from tree to tree.... I'm probably not saying this right... That's why I rarely try to say if I think something could be helped... I seldom know how to express it and my knowledge is so limited. I'm trying to learn.... Who knows, maybe I'll succeed!! :D


12-01-2005, 02:14 PM
All I can say, Char, is it looks GREAT to me!

I haven't done any more on my Church Portrait but
this gives me hope...


12-01-2005, 02:46 PM
looks just fine....especially the reflections in the windows....just a hint of b/g trees on the right, right? Now you are getting to the good parts....those chimneys...
Big paper is so fun....eh?

12-01-2005, 03:11 PM
Such a relief to see this looking so good and so far ahead......... now I know you'll make the Christmas deadline :) And hopefully you will have a little more time to work on it now Pop is at home ( or on his way there)

LOL at enjoying the big sheet that frightend you for so long ;)

Kate Mc
12-01-2005, 03:43 PM
It's looking good to me.....keep going!


Kate, who's rooting for you.

12-01-2005, 04:08 PM
The house (which, after all is the REASON for this painting) is looking really terrific. Like Brian, I think the reflections in the windows really are wonderful.

Since you are still going to play with the trees, I won't mention them. ;) I know in the end you will make them work.

Glad you have a little time to yourself to finally wet your brushes and play with your paints.


12-01-2005, 04:29 PM
Come on Char, this is great. The trees don't detract from the house, so for now leave them. As Brian says the fun is about to begin, you are doing really well. I like the colour of the house, the shadows will make it sing out when you place them.

Keep going, and don't forget to balance the right hand side.

12-01-2005, 06:40 PM
Oh Char, I am in awe!!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely LOVE the ground floor with all those fabulous windows. The bushes are sheer perfection!!! This is going to be one magnificent painting - WOW!!! There will be tears flowing, take Keenex!!!

re trees, I agree with Emilie, they look very much next to each other rather than growing into each other but if you are too scared to touch them they'll do just fine as they are.

Hi Char.... Sending prayer, hugs and comfort your way....

I think maybe the tree leaves are too separate... they don't blend together from tree to tree.... I'm probably not saying this right... That's why I rarely try to say if I think something could be helped... I seldom know how to express it and my knowledge is so limited. I'm trying to learn.... Who knows, maybe I'll succeed!! :D


12-01-2005, 07:18 PM
Char , this is looking really really fabulous :clap: . Just relax and keep on painting .
Your Mother and Stepfather will absolutely love this.

12-01-2005, 08:13 PM
LOVE those reflections in the windows. House is looking good.

Like Brian says leave the trees until you have finished the rest.. (((:)))))

Granny R
12-01-2005, 09:25 PM
Deep breath Char, just keep going and it will turn out just fine. No, acutally it will be spectacular!!! The bits you aren't happy with can wait til later. I know you will pull this off. Congratulations for tackling the painting you've been apprehensive to do!!. It is truly looking gorgeous.

12-01-2005, 10:35 PM
You are doing a fantastic job so far Char as we all knew you would. As the others, I love your windows and the wonderful tudor looking house. I also agree with whomever said leave the trees for now, you will get there. Will check back to see progress but it is certainly going well so far

12-02-2005, 04:43 AM
Char - I'm tidying up the Learning Zone and will move this thread to the Studio as it is a WIP.


Celeste McCall
12-02-2005, 10:52 PM
LOOKING GREAT!!! Keep going Char. We have lots of faith in you. ;)

One thing I hadn't noticed in the photo was the dead tree near the door. I'm not sure that I would have left that in, but maybe it's a special thing to your family, so I'm sure that there is a reason that you left it there. I couldn't figure out what it was at first. It IS a dead tree stump isn't it? :) I hope that I'm not just seeing something that's not there. I apologize if I am.

Keep going...your almost there.

And I'm saying a prayer for you & your family. God Bless you all.

12-02-2005, 10:57 PM
:wave: Just checking in for an up date. :)

12-03-2005, 08:02 AM
Hi everyone... I have nearly finished this... as soon as I have some light, I'll photograph and post it...

Thanks Doug... for your support, nice comments and moving this thread to the Studio!

Hi Emilie... I've *blended* the foliage better... it's made the trees look heavier than they should, but they don't look quite so odd, either... thanks for your good observations...

Thank you so much Jo...

Brian... well... I screwed up the trees on the right, too... oh gawd I hate trees... not really... I really need to do a LOT more tree studies... Big paper... I'm a convert... :D

JT... thank you... the deadline will be no problem... *phew*... just need to frame it now... and I'll be doing more full sheets... :D

Katie-p-tatie... thank you so much...

Sylvia... your comments are always filled with such good advice, common sense and mean a LOT to me!!! Thank you...

*laughing*... Kev, I now have ugly trees on the left AND the right... I balanced it... the building itself has really been fun to do, though... thanks...

Thanks Uschi... since we already talked about my need for more practice on trees, your comments are much appreciated... hopefully, I can make it to that Workshop!!

Thank you Auntie P... I know that my Stepdad will... My Mother is quite... ummmm... particular... :D

Thanks JJ!!!

Thanks Ruth... I appreciate your comments...

Thanks Judy... that house is a Tudor wannabe, but really more Eclectic Leonard...

Celeste... *laughing*... yes, that's a tree stump... If I removed it, the Florida Room would fall down... the other half of that tree is inside the Florida Room... my Stepdad built that room around the tree... it was really beautiful when the tree will still living... lightning hit it and killed off most of it... so, it had to be cut down...


12-03-2005, 09:12 AM
OK... here it is, warts and all... I need to touch up a bunch of stuff, but before I touch it again, I'd appreciate your advice!!!

BTW... if not for WC!, I would never have ventured such a project, let alone on a full sheet... even with all the imperfections, composition issues, need for more practice on many elements, this is a milestone... Thank you...


...and... Stevie... :D


12-03-2005, 09:20 AM
aaaaaaaaw!!!! Ive just given you a merit point for succeeding so well with this brave project :)

If you INSIST we pic nits........... the only thing I would consider doing is to tone down the white lines around all the glazing in windows doors and the very bright sky reflections in the windows........ but that may be my monitor.........

I think you'd better hand it over with two boxes of kleenex tissues ... one each for them ... or perhaps 3 ... one for you too.

Very, very well done [[[[hugs]]]]

12-03-2005, 09:29 AM
from Jaytee: Ive just given you a merit point for succeeding so well with this brave project!

Me, too!!! I am TOTALLY impressed with this final ... they are
gonna love it ... especially with Stevie included :)


12-03-2005, 09:31 AM
Ahhhhhh, what a wonderful gift you've made for your Mom and Stepdad, Char. They will see nothing but love when you give it to them and a world of fantastic memories of their time in that house. I like the flowers just as they are and the gazebo and Stevie.

Your trees really aren't bad and they fill that background setting for the house.

Well done and another brave step taken in your development as an ARTISTE!


12-03-2005, 09:53 AM
Hurrah!!! Char, you did it..... They are going to LOVE it!! I love the story behind the huge tree stump. It definitely wouldn't be a proper rendering of the house without it!!


12-03-2005, 10:20 AM
Ahhhhhh, what a wonderful gift you've made for your Mom and Stepdad, Char. They will see nothing but love when you give it to them and a world of fantastic memories of their time in that house. I like the flowers just as they are and the gazebo and Stevie.

Your trees really aren't bad and they fill that background setting for the house.

Well done and another brave step taken in your development as an ARTISTE!


Sylvia you said it so well..

:clap: Char :clap:

12-03-2005, 10:28 AM
I'm absolutely, totally impressed!!!! Don't touch a thing, it is just wonderful!!!!

Granny R
12-03-2005, 10:55 AM
I knew you could pull it off, it's absolutely wonderful!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
This will be a treasured heirloom Char. Congratulations on a fantastic finish on a personal challenge. Your parents will be choked up I am sure.

12-03-2005, 11:00 AM
Well you came through this with flying colours, absolutely well done. The only thing that niggles me is the shadows of the building are not given enough contrast. Your other darks are, under the bushes and under the eaves are good and bold and if that were carried through to the building it would make the sunny side pop out even more.

But if you can't do anymore to it it will be great as it is. I quite like the way you did the trees and the bushes. The right hand tree shows all the learning you took on board. You should be very proud of this, it really is great.

Edit: Here I've fiddled a bit, added a little more dark to the shadows. Hope you don't mind.



12-03-2005, 11:49 AM
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I love the composition - the light - the old tree - the detail on the little gazebo - wonderful - wonderful - wonderful. Well worth the wait - am also giving you a mentor point.


12-03-2005, 12:05 PM
Lovely job, Char - so neat and no ink! ;)

I have to agree with Kev, the shadows on the house walls need to be darker.

Did you explain that the house is actually built around the tree trunk?


12-03-2005, 01:21 PM
Char-Sis, you have excelled yet again!

The trees and other flora are wonderfully executed. The house has nice crisp lines. The whole painting has great individuality and you need make no apologies for anything that you included in the scene, for whatever reason!

This must be spectacular on a full sheet. Please photograph it when matted and framed. (Good thing you do your own mats and framing; full sheet costs a fortune to do it right!!!)

Awarding you a merit point for this--mainly for you attempting something you dreaded and doing so fantastically well with it!


Lynn Quinn
12-03-2005, 01:22 PM
Char, I'm really late getting to this, but You've done a fantastic job! Agree with Kev re. darker shadows on the house. Can you still do that, or have your already framed it? Lovely either way, but darkening those shadows really helps it.

12-03-2005, 01:25 PM
Yay!!! Char!!!! You did it girl!!! Dang, the smilies aren't working for me!

This is such a beautiful painting! And the trees are great, no matter what you say!

Yes, there will be tears all around...I'm getting tears just thinking about it!



12-03-2005, 02:39 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Dec-2005/28847-21440-big_gold_star.jpeg A big gold star for you my girl . and a point. I know this was a stress for you but you have" met your enemy and need not be ashamed" that's a quote from somebody or other :p can't remember who.
anyway as to the trees , I particularly like the ones on the right hand side.
I agree re the shadows Ala Kev.

Kate Mc
12-04-2005, 03:11 AM
WOOT, Char! This is splendid. I'm so impressed that you did this outside your comfort zone, and did it SO well. You Pop will love it. It's a touching tribute to him and to his life in this splendid house.

Now you're a landscape painter.


Strawberry Wine
12-04-2005, 09:16 AM
Char/Sis you did it!!!! and did it so very, very, well. I just love the gazebo and the addition of "Stevie"

Agreeing with above on deepening the shadows.

Your Mom and Step Dad will be stunned and everytime they look at the painting they will see something new and point it out to each other.

Merit point from me too.



12-04-2005, 09:42 AM
Char, you did it!! It turned out great. Your parents will love this so much.
You are giving them a real treasure...
Bonine R

lyn lynch
12-04-2005, 09:46 AM
This is lovely! Amazing portrait, good on you. I wondered about the house shadows too, though. Are the magnificiant windows a turret? Do they wrap around, or does the wall turn? This is what I'm thinking about.

12-04-2005, 09:55 AM
What a beautiful home, Char. It must be so hard to close the door on it. Your photo references are all potentially lovely paintings. My first thought was to focus on the back our the house as the main centre of interest and then as Yorky and others have suggested incorportate multiple images. It is a package of memories - I think that would be a fabulous way to package them.


12-04-2005, 11:26 AM
Well done Char.....please don't fiddle.....the white roof line at the fireplace and across to the sunroof is a neat clean diagonal....leave it as is...please....;-)
May I argue for leaving the shadows as they are?
The painting is a depiction of the house at almost or just after noon.....the shadows are typical for that time of day when most of the shadows are filled in with reflected sunlight and the change in tonal values is just right....
The proposed darkening of the shadows takes away all the details in the shadow side of the chimneys....both the gray one and the brown ones....
Loosing those details in shadow is exactly what a camera would do....and which I would assume you do not want.
The proposed darker shadows now match the dark shadows of the sunroom....whereas the painting has the dark shadows in the right place...the sunroom, which is really hidden in shade....
So there....;-)
Now why did we get so caught up in the technical points of this fine gift...?
Good on you....
Now get back to your flowers and leave us barnscapers alone...;-)

12-04-2005, 01:01 PM
Hi everyone... this is the final, final... I did increase the shadows, but not to the extent proposed... a compromise, if you would...

JT... I put a very light burnt sienna wash over the windows to grey down the blue reflections... Thanks for your ongoing and continuous positive support!

Jo... Thank you... your positive comments mean a lot!

Thanks, Syl... you ALWAYS see the positive side of a problem and that's why I love you to death!

Thanks Emilie... BSAK's... that tree caused many interesting problems and stories... from roots lifting the floor, to critters on the inside part of the tree... *laughing*

Thanks and ((hugs)) JJ and Uschi!

Hi Ruth... it's these personal challenges that keep us coming back to WC, isn't it? Thank you!!

Kev... I showed Ted your suggestions and he agreed... however, I couldn't be quite that bold, so I compromised... I think this will be ok and I didn't sacrifice any of the brick detail... Thanks for all your help and suggestions... you've been a blessing in disguise... and it's much appreciated...

(((Pat))) Thank you very, very much!

Hi Doug... I think I explained somewhere in this thread that the tree was actually part of the Florida Room... and it was REALLY beautiful when the tree was still alive... unfortunately, it fell victim to lightening and had to be cut down... *smiling* I don't own any ink! :eek: Thank you for your help!

Thanks, Lyn-sis... I'll be ordering the framing materials tomorrow... We have the mattes... I suspect that plexi-glass would be best for this... and, yes, I'll snap a picture of it when we get it framed...

Thank you Lynn... I did affect some changes...

Katie... you're right about the emotional ties, here... I think I'll make a print for my Sister as a gift, also... Thanks so much...

Patty... thank you so much!!! Those trees??? I'll be practicing trees for awhile... :D

Auntie P... your 100% right... a full sheet is an intimidating piece of paper... a composition with heartstrings is another hurdle... overcoming both of those in one fell swoop has been a tough journey... BUT, I made it through to the other side... Your support, of course, has been an important factor!!

Gail... Ted mentioned that you can barely see Stevie in this painting... I told him that I don't plan to tell them he's in there... I want them to find him... Thanks g/f!

Hi Bonnie... thank you so very, very much!

Hi Fookie... one of the challenges with this house was the many, many unusual angles... Those windows kind of turn even though the roof doesn't suggest that... and no one even mentioned the terrible sag in that part of the roof... *laughing* Thank you!

Hi Robyn... it's conceivable that I'll do some smaller bits, because this view doesn't illustrate all the gardens, the neat summer kitchen on the front, the arbours on the side (around from the gazebo)...

Brian... your solid advice is always appreciated and very much respected... I would, sincerely, love to take your workshops... In the interim, however, you're too late and I have darkened (somewhat) the shadows... I did preserver the brickwork, though... I do have a small floral commission, BUT...

I have a house commission that I've just accepted and must be finished before Christmas! :eek: :eek: :eek:

One more note... I'm so glad I've done this painting (again, warts and all)... The new owners have... CUT DOWN ALL THE TREES ...my Stepdad doesn't know this yet... All the walnut wainscotting inside has been painted white and the quarry tile floors have all been lifted... of course, you can't see any of that from this painting, but the house will never feel the same...

Drum roll... The finale...


I'm off to paint a Gerber Daisy... :D

12-04-2005, 01:17 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:
Off to give you a merit point!

Edit: Whoops, I guess I've already given one to someone within the past 24 hours...I'll be back!

12-04-2005, 01:42 PM
A really Grand Finale :) The windows are perfect in my eyes now...... and Im gad you didnt overdo the shadows........ seems I've given you a merit point within the last 30 days so, sorry, you dont get another ;) just more :clap: :clap: :clap:

Be sure someone is pointing a camera when you hand it over - but try not to splash the lens ;) [[[hugs]]]

12-04-2005, 03:20 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


12-04-2005, 03:54 PM
Hey between me and Brian we got there eh? Wonderful, well done :clap:

12-04-2005, 05:07 PM
Perfecto ! What a wonderful , wonderful gift you will be giving your parents. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2005/28847-9813-klap_klap.gif

12-06-2005, 10:10 AM
Thanks so much Patty!!! It's the thought that really counts, and your support is very much appreciated!

Thanks, JT... My Pop is going to be please, I know that for sure...

*smiling* at the applause... thanks Pat!!!

Kev... I was thinking, the other day (dangerous, I know)... I should have joined your Challenge way back when... maybe, then, I wouldn't have been so intimidated by this... Your help has been very, very appreciated... ((hug)) l know... I know...

Thanks so much Auntie P!!

Celeste McCall
12-06-2005, 10:46 AM
They are going to absolutely love this Char!!!! I like it a bunch. :) :) :)

We told you that you could do it!!!! We have a lot of faith in your abilities!!! :) :) :)

Way to go!

MEGA clappies and smilies

12-06-2005, 12:27 PM
I'm off to paint a Gerber Daisy... :D


This is outstanding and I know your Mother will burst with pride. We don't really know each other, but I can tell a favorite subject to paint is flowers.... you definately deserve to reward yourself and paint that Gerber!


12-06-2005, 04:39 PM
Kev... I was thinking, the other day (dangerous, I know)... I should have joined your Challenge way back when... maybe, then, I wouldn't have been so intimidated by this... Your help has been very, very appreciated... ((hug)) l know... I know...

Well now there's a challenge, anytime you like you know you are always welcome, but we had better make sure for our sakes that we ain't painting flowers that week!!!!!!!!!!!

12-06-2005, 05:10 PM
Yup you definitely get my merit point. You struggled avoided, hemmed and hawed and lookee what you came out with.....A very gorgeous meaningful painting that will be treasured. Can't ask for more than that. Congrats Char

12-06-2005, 06:23 PM
Wow Char, it is really great... Excellent job (pity I missed the funny part :))

12-07-2005, 06:17 PM
One more note... I'm so glad I've done this painting (again, warts and all)... The new owners have... CUT DOWN ALL THE TREES ...my Stepdad doesn't know this yet... All the walnut wainscotting inside has been painted white and the quarry tile floors have all been lifted... of course, you can't see any of that from this painting, but the house will never feel the same...

Drum roll... The finale...


I'm off to paint a Gerber Daisy... :D

CHAR you finished this painting beautifully..

Don't tell your Pop, he doesn't need to know what the new owners have done.

It is sooooooooooo sad, but a new broom.......................

Why on earth did they cut down all the trees'.? They are going to the hot place..:(


Lynn Quinn
12-07-2005, 11:17 PM
Wonderful finish, Char! I'm so glad you painted it, too!

12-10-2005, 09:42 AM
I haven't been online for a few days and I'm remiss in thanking everyone... your support has been such a positive force...

Thanks so much for all your help and input, Celeste!

Thanks, Coast... you're right... I'm working on the Gerber now... BUT... I have another house portrait to paint!!! :eek:

LOL, Kev... *joining* isn't quite the same as *committing* in your Challenges...

Thanks Judy... I know how terribly I obsessed over this... everyone's patience has been nothing short of a Blessing... :D

Thanks Els...

Thanks JJ... it's quite dark inside the house (partly due to all the trees)... and, yes, I believe they'll be sorry when summer rolls around... too late now...

Thanks Lynn!!!

12-10-2005, 10:46 AM
House portraits and landscapes :eek:

Guess I'll have to start doing flower macros ;) :)


12-10-2005, 10:54 AM
Wow.I love this! I have time to wander around W/C today and see what is happening in here and I'm so glad I looked in this thread.

You have such pateince and I love how this is coming along.How exciting to see the painting develop step by step..........

I'll be watching to see how you finish this now.I love it so far.

I think we are our own worst critics at times,we see faults where others don't...and I think maybe you're seeing some where there aren't any!

It's beautiful..really beautiful.