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Family home keepsake

I was given a commission to create a keepsake painting of a family home, for a wedding anniversary gift. The house is being sold and it's where the couple spent most of their married life and raising their children. The daughter wanted a lovely visual memory for her parents, so they can hang the picture of their old home on the wall of their new home.

Here's my working process....

I was given measurements of the (deep box) frame that would be used. From those dimensions I had to measure out the exact size piece of paper to fit the frame correctly and then create a border using masking tape. The frame was 12.5 inches square and the artwork needed to fit 9 inches square, leaving a nice amount of white space around the painting.

The paper I used was 300gsm rough/cold-pressed. I stuck it on to a foam core (A3) board using masking tape (the board is covered in clear packing tape to ensure it stays water resistant).

The inner square is for the artwork

The space below the house is masked off for some calligraphy and the key to the door

I started with pencil (Faber-Castell HB) and then drew over the lines with a Staedtler pigment liner pen (0.5mm).

The final line drawing

Then it's time for the fun bit - adding colour. I used my trusty Winsor & Newton watercolour palette. Starting with the roof then windows and brick work. It's important to start with the lightest colours first and then build up layers and always finish with the darker colours.

Once the majority of the painting was done, I removed the horizontal piece of masking tape (just below the painting) so I could add the hand painted writing.

Hand painted calligraphy

I love calligraphy and watching other artists' videos on Instagram and YouTube, I find them fascinating to watch. Particular favourites of mine are: Liss Amyah (Instagram - lissletters), Leslie Tieu (Instagram - and Stephanie Baxter (Instagram - stephsayshello).

I more often than not start sketching with pencil and in this case I drew a couple of feint horizontal lines to ensure the letters had the same body height. I also had to make sure I left enough space to the right of the calligraphy, so the door key can be placed.

Once I was happy with the placement, I carefully painted over the top of the pencil lines using a dark grey watercolour. The thinner lines were a bit fiddly and I had to make sure I had enough paint in my brush ~ not too much paint because I wouldn't have been able to get a nice thin line but not too little, otherwise it would have dried out before completing the line.

I then hand painted the address in a smaller, simpler style and added a couple of hearts. Once the paint had completely dried, I removed the inner square of masking tape.

I then removed the final pieces of masking tape and took the paper off of the board. Now it's ready to frame!

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