Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Home is where the Art is

A Home doesn't have heART without the ART
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
Completed House Painting from Photo
A few days ago I talked about how the most popular holiday gift so far this year has been the house portrait. In this blog post I want to take you behind the scenes from start to finish to show you how I create my house portraits.

The first step always starts with the love of a house. In this case, a couple just purchased a new home together. Obviously, the husband takes as much pride in this home and knows he will also be able to share the joy of the house portrait he plans to give his wife. While she is away on business, he secretly takes some snapshots of the home. I was impressed that this husband started his holiday shopping way before Halloween ( I hope my husband is reading this!)

Reference Photograph for House Portrait
He sent me this snapshot as well as two other angles and also a photos of their two small dogs. Normally, I recommend that the pets be a separate portrait but I thought they would look just right nestled at the stoop. I love the flag in the front of the home,. the pumpkins and the blooming hydrangeas. I suggest to my client that we add more flowers to the front of the home which he loves.

Initial Drawing for Custom Portrait

The next step is I have to carefully reproduce a line drawing of the house and our discussed modifications onto the watercolor paper. Since my collector knows he wants the name of the street on the bottom of the painting I add this now in pencil just to make sure I get the spelling right. Then I scan my drawing and email the client for his review. He likes the addition of the dogs and the daffodils but is a little concerned about the sides looking sparse, but I know once the paint goes in everything will be as he imagined so I am good to go.

The whole painting comes to life in watercolor. When I m done I send a scan again for him to review. Just one small request is to darken one of the two dogs. I send him a revised scan of that detail and get the package ready for shipment. For portrait I prefer to include a mat as this adds to the visual presentation. I wrap the painting in an acetate sleeve with my business card slipped in the back. Then I create a box that is the right size for the matted painting. I don't want anything too large so the painting doesn't have room to bang around inside the box. Whew! That was a lot of work, but this painting will be a part of their home for many years and a treasured heirloom for their children and children's children.

Detail showing charming dogs on stoop.
What kind of art makes your home special?