I was asked to paint an old farmhouse, dating to the 1800s, using an old photo provided, since the house, while still existing and lived in, is much changed and renovated over the years. My client asked for the painting to be in sepia tone, to give it that nostalgic feel.
I used the photo reference exactly since there was no other information about the structure, and the photo was fairly good – a farmhouse along a horizon, with distinctive trees, a few outbuildings (we think they are an outhouse and springhouse) and a field in the foreground, giving it the feeling of a hand-built home plopped in the middle of a vast rural America – which this most likely was at the time. I started with a pencil drawing.
I did a rough tonal sketch by painting over a scan of this sketch in grays, then made it sepia with a click of a computer key, and the client approved it –
I took one photo while I was working on painting it on illustration board with acrylic paint washes –
And finished and delivered it yesterday for the client to frame. The only real change I made from the original photo was to add two birds flying low on the horizon – I think it’s always nice to show some life and movement in a landscape.