Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Just sent off the latest commissioned piece...

I just shipped out my latest commissioned piece -- the one I mentioned that the groom is giving to his bride for a wedding present.  I can't wait to share it with you, as it was such fun!  But since it is a super secret surprise, it will have to wait until after the lovely bride has laid eyes on it...

I wanted to give you a little peek into my drawing room and table. I have a few commissioned pieces that I could share since I last posted about them on this blog, but here is one that was a pleasure to do.  It is on our local historical register and the current owners purchased the home in the 1970s.  This house turned 100 years old in 2015.

I thought I would share the process for this one.  It is pretty much how I work on all my commissioned pieces.  Here is the original photo that I was sent by the person who commissioned the drawing.

Original photo:

This is the first step (below) in how I work, lightly laying in the beginning sketch.  This is really the crucial point of the drawing and sometimes the longest step, as I must get the perspective right, the house straight, all the angles relating to the horizon correctly, etc.  There is a lot of sketching and erasing happening in this step! ;)

Once I am satisfied that the house looks correct from all angles (and doesn't look like it's falling over to one side or the other) and is proportionally correct (the porch isn't too large for the house, the steps are proportional to the door, the windows aren't too large or small, etc.) I can begin to fill in details.  This is where the fun takes over. 

Filling in details is about texture, shading, and all the architectural nuances that make a house a house... the boards on the wall next to the windows, the stonework on the porch, the little architectural details under the eaves, etc. When filling in, I work as much as possible from left to right and top to bottom, as the graphite will smear while I am working (right-handed) and rubbing back and forth over the areas.  I also use a piece of parchment to cover areas that I have already filled in, so that they are protected from my (very active) hand and arm.

Some of the most challenging details about some houses are the windows, especially if the surrounding trim and wood is white, as the ones on either side of the front door here.  It is difficult to get the panes all uniform and straight lines without distorting the white trim around them because the white part is the negative space.  It's much easier if the trim is darker than the panes.

I loved doing this house because there were so many different textures and features. It is really amazing to me how much this makes me appreciate what architects do.  To think this beautiful thing was designed and built in 1915 and is still so beautifully standing and giving shelter to this family today just amazes me.

With all of the house finished except the roof, I get to thinking about the landscape.  I have to be sure that the house is covered with parchment during this step because this when my fingers fly.  Shrubs and grasses and trees and flowers are a lot of fun.  As you have probably gathered by now, I really enjoy doing these.  I am thankful that people continue to ask me to do them, and each one is unique and special.  And so we've made our way back to where this post started, the finished product...


One thing that I do while I draw is pray for the families who are represented by the homes... those who live there, those who have lived there and have moved on, those who are giving the gift to the ones who live or lived there.  It is a privilege to be able to touch a family in this way. This is just a little taste of my commissioned work, but I also still love to paint and take the opportunity to "play with color" in between my commissioned drawings.

Wednesday blessings,


  1. Your work is beautiful, Christi and done with heart as well as hand. I always enjoy reading about artists' processes.

  2. Wow, Christi! I had no idea all the elements that you need to "get right." I did think, at first, that it would be nice to get a straight picture. =D What a wonderful gift God has given you. It brings joy to so many and that you are praying while drawing is precious.

    It is so difficult to find you here IF I try by using your profile. Thankfully, I remembered that I have your link on my Friends and Favorites. Do you provide a link on the site that your profile is linked with? I may be overlooking it.

    1. Well that was embarrassingly easy! Thanks, Christi! (I think I was going through web page on the left before.)

  3. You are the only person that I know who can do this kind of art. It is a gift straight from heaven and bless you for using it to glorify the Lord.

    This house does not look to be 100 years old. It is such a lovely house. I would love to take a peek inside.

  4. I love seeing all the steps you take. Stunning. Simply stunning. :)