One of my favourite things to do is watercolour house portraits.
What are they for?
People commission me to paint a house, church or building that is meaningful to them or the person they would like to give it to as a gift. These are a fantastic personalised gift idea, and in the last year alone people from all over the U.K. have commissioned me to paint as Christmas gifts, on the occasion of an ordination, as a house moving gift, a wedding anniversary gift, a retirement gift and birthday gifts.
They are a perfect way to add some significance to a gift and frame something really personal and special in your home.
What materials do you use?
My house portraits are first drawn on to 300gsm canson watercolour paper, then painted with Windsor and Newton watercolours. I finish the piece off with a waterproof black fine liner.
Here’s a little behind the scenes of the painting process.
Ruler and pencil in hand, I set out drawing the building centred on the paper.
If the commission requires some hand lettering, I do that first as it is the hardest thing to rectify - it would be a shame to have to start a whole painting over for a spelling mistake!
After a light wash of the main colour of the building, I set about painting in details such as bricks, roof, edges and windows.
Once the painting is all done, the shadows make it come to life. I find this to be one of the things that makes a painting go from good to great.
The final touch is adding in black fine lines to the contours of the building.
The end result
Here are a few examples of A5, A4 and A3 paintings I have done for commission clients over the last year. As you will see, there is a mix of houses, national trust properties, churches and other buildings of significance. Some have chosen to include an inscription to personalise this further. With hand lettered dates or a quote, these make a great anniversary gift, birthday gift of Christmas gift.
Here are a few up close details of some of the paintings so you can see the detailed work in the painting and the lovely texture of the canson paper.
Finally, here’s where the magic happens! A photograph of my desk!
If you have a project you think I can help you with, I’d love for you to get in touch and discuss what you have in mind. I love to help people give special secret gifts for big occasions like a significant anniversary, a big birthday or after a house move. I also love to paint a series and have had the joy of painting sets of houses to be framed alongside each other - it’s like a family history in houses.