House Portraits?

Not something I’d considered doing until asked by a friend to do one as a housewarming gift, and it’s grown from there, not just housewarming, but wedding venues, childhood homes, memorable places, factories, offices, pubs, the list goes on. Interestingly, international orders currently outnumber those from my home country.

They are entirely hand-drawn and hand-painted “pen and wash” paintings (no digital transformations from photographs) which I offer in two styles that I call ‘Traditional’ and ‘Urban’.

They’re based on the photo(s) provided by customers but I can accommodate personal requests/alterations if I possibly can, such as extra flowers, plant pots, etc and the resulting work is a “one of a kind”, completely unique to the buyer.

I use the best professional materials, ensuring that the painting will last a lifetime: acid free, 300gsm (140lb) or heavier watercolour paper, Winsor & Newton Professional watercolour paints and Faber-Castell waterproof pens or sometimes a dip-pen with waterproof ink. 

I normally don’t include neighbouring properties (unless requested otherwise) although using artistic license I may include (or invent!) surrounding trees or shrubs if I think they improve the composition. The customer always has the opportunity to change this before I do the final work.

So, I start with a pencil sketch of the main elements of the building and include/add any other compositional elements I think will help to ensure that it looks right.

Then I firm-up the pencil lines with pen and add some more detail.

When I’m happy with the pen work I erase the pencil lines and start building up the watercolours, working from light to dark, finishing with the shadows. It’s the addition of the dark tones that can really make a painting come alive. A spontaneous spattering of colour also brightens an urban painting.

Because of the various ways that layers of watercolour paint can interact with each other and depending on the effect required there can be quite a few breaks in the process to allow a layer to dry before adding the next.

I finish off by going back over some of the lines with pen where I think some more emphasis will improve the composition.

I do my best to match the colours on the photo(s) provided unless requested otherwise, bearing in mind that the urban style will be looser and more colourful.

I usually manage to dispatch these paintings within a week of order, UK packaging and shipping is free of charge and I charge £8 for international destinations. My paintings are packaged carefully and securely to ensure they are well protected during transit. I use Royal Mail Signed For in the UK, and Royal Mail International Standard for international destinations.

If interested, you’ll find more details and can place an order in my online shop

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