Watercolor Portraits of Your Home by Jeff Atnip
Medium and Techniques
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Would you like a lasting and beautiful reminder of a cherished home? Or perhaps you would like a reminder of some other nostalgic location such as the family farm or an old barn? My paintings of these locations are the perfect gift for a multitude of occasions including for those who are moving away from an old home, moving in to a new home, anniversaries and much more.
I do use photo reference, but the painting is a designed piece of art. In other words, I apply classic design principles to the painting and the result is much more than a copy of a photograph. I use my artistic license to move things around, emphasize some elements and downplay others. I pay attention to focal point, value patterns, variation and repetition, contrast, gradation and many other principles so that each painting is truly a unique work of art. The evidence of this is, I hope, evident in the samples I have provided.
I use Arches handmade 140 lb watercolor paper. This is a heavy weight acid free paper that never yellows. A full sheet is 22 x 30 inches and I cut it in half to make two 15 x 22 half-sheets. This is the normal size of my home portraits. For reference, after you add a 3 inch mat and a frame, this size is a good size for an "over the couch" painting.
I am willing to do these paintings in other sizes as well. We can discuss this.
I may use your photos or, if it is convenient, I will take them myself. I like to get a variety of angles and I prefer it if I can get some nice morning or afternoon shadows.
I love putting in fall colors, but any season and look is fine. You can leave that up to me, or you may have a preference. Just about everything about the appearance of your house is negotiable, including the appearance of shrubs and blossoms, and maybe a part of the house that is no longer there, but that you would like added back in.
In most cases, I will send you a rough pencil drawing for approval before I start.
A typical process
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My basic price for a 15 x 22 watercolor home portrait is $600.00. I will also give you access to a high quality digital file of your painting in case you would like to make your own prints or cards.
Smaller sized paintings 11 x 15 and smaller are $400.00. When the paintings go down to 8 x 10 or 5 x 7 inches, I can mount them on a masonite backing and spray varnish them so they can be framed without mat or glass.
11 x 15 inches - $400.00
8 x 10 inches - $300.00
5 x 7 inches - $200.00
Jeff Atnip is an award winning artist who has had numerous paintings accepted into juried shows. He has had over 25 years experience as a professional illustrator and graphic artist working for various studios, agencies and most recently for FedEx.
To contact Jeff:
How long does it take to complete one of these?
I would like two weeks lead time before your deadline. We will discuss your needs and my schedule when we begin to communicate.
How did you arrive at your $600.00 price tag?
Picture a large mixing bowl. Throw in working time, consulting time, computer time, and materials. Mix it all together and there is my price. I think it is a very good deal.
Why don't you frame them for me?
Most people like to pick out their own frame and mat colors. Presently I do not have the time or resources for this. Here is my recommendation. Use a 3 inch white outer mat and an inner colored mat that matches one of the colors in the painting. The outer mat should not be a dark or bright color…it should be a resting place for the eyes. Frames and mats are expensive these days, so you should consider this cost from the beginning.
I have seen other home portrait places on the internet and they charge less. What about that?
I have seen them also. If you are happy with the way their samples look, then feel free to use them. However, please be discerning. I have noticed more than one of them are using photographs and simply altering them with filters in Photoshop to try and make them look like paintings. And I have seen some that are obviously simply traced photographs. Some of them look okay and others show the distorted perspective and lack of good design inherent in amateur photography. Look at the vertical columns and walls - are they vertical - or are they slanted? Small camera lenses will distort the perspective. When I design a painting, I take care to move things around, fix the perspective, and use artistic license to enhance the overall effect.
How about just part of the house?
Yes and that is a good thing to consider. Maybe it is just the front door or the porch that you really want to remember or emphasize. I have done several of these kinds of portraits. Below is an example.