Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Best Things in Life

I get so excited when I have a commission piece to do! I enjoy the process of discussing the various options with the client, gathering resource materials, and deciding on a composition. It's a lot of work, but it's so much fun in the end when everyone is happy with the results.

A few weeks ago, Laurie, from Texas, contacted me about doing a house portrait for her husband for his birthday. It was to be a surprise, and it wouldn't be easy to keep it a secret, given how excited she was about the gift. She sent photos of the kids, dogs, and house, and told me a little bit about each of them. After taking a few days to mull it all over, I started planning, sketching, drawing and painting. Here's the final result ...

"The Best Things in Life" 10" x 14" watercolor, ink, & colored pencil

The stonework on the house was represented with strokes of watercolor applied with a small flat brush, and a touch of colored pencil line work. I wanted to suggest the texture without painting each and every stone.

The blossoms on the tree add a splash of color.

The children, Emma and Aiden, bring the painting to life, and their mom says this scene is a common one in their family - the kids love playing with the dogs in the front yard.

House portraits can sometimes seem rather static, with nothing much going on. I like the fact that this one has a fun narrative, with the kids chasing Hadley, who's chasing the ball, and being watched by Ginger, who's taking in the whole scene from the sidelines.

As I contemplated a title for the painting, I realized that the picture shows some of "The Best Things in Life" - home, children, pets, sunshine, flowers, simple fun, peace, and happiness. We can't ask for more than that.

PS - Laurie's husband, Mike, was thrilled with his birthday surprise! And she was thrilled that she had managed to keep it a secret. ;)

To inquire about custom drawings and paintings,
please email me using the Contact button in the right column.
 I'd love to create something special for you.


  1. What a beautiful piece Leslie! Congratulations. :-)

  2. This is such a cute little house painting! I love the children and pets playing in the yard. What a fun commission!

  3. I love love this painting! Such life and heart!


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