So it's been a while since I last posted because I've been working on a few new house portraits. But this time, instead of just showing off the final product I figured I'd go through the process of how I create a house portrait from start to finish.
First, I create a rough sketch based on the photos I have to work from. I've found that, for me at least, it's essential to start in pencil because that way if I need to adjust proportions, (which I usually do!), I can do that without a lot of hassle. When you're working with architecture in particular, any disproportionate element can throw the whole thing off and can be glaringly obvious in the end product. Also, it's easier to play around and add in/change elements that either weren't in the photographs or the client wants taken out; for example, the rainbow in this portrait was something the client wanted added in from a different photograph.
Next I start with a light wash of color on the main areas. Again, starting off lightly is important because once the color is down and the paper absorbs it there's no going back! And at least if the color is off on a light layer it's easier to cover with a darker layer if it can't be wiped away with a paper towel. That theory applies when I start adding in details. As you can see in the third picture, I began adding in the bricks in a rusty brown color. The reason for this was not only to lay each of them out as lightly as possible, but also to cut down on the vibrant cherry tone of the red I had. That way when I did start to add in the darker tones, the bricks were closer to a true brick red than an unnatural bright red.
From there it's just a game of adding more and more layers of color and refining details until the piece finally gets to a point where I am comfortable in calling it finished.