Our Parents' Home, ink, 2009.

A Simple Ink Sketch of Our Parents’ Home

Our Parents' Home, ink, 2009.

Our Parents’ Home, ink, 2009.

I have profiles on a number of different art sites, and this customer found me on a site for local artists to list themselves so that local people wanting art, either existing or commissioned, could look for local artists.

In this case parents were moving out of the family home and selling it, and the kids wanted to get a sketch of the home to give to their parents and wanted to be sure it emphasized the things they held dear about the place too. On that local artist site they had seen a few of my ink sketches and chose me to do an 8 x 10 ink sketch.

They sent me the realtor’s listing photo which showed the colonial front of the house along with the large, older, shady maple trees that covered much of the front of the house. Those trees were favorites. But one thing you really couldn’t see were the swings in the maple tree on the right, still the kiddie swing, now used for grandchildren, and the big kiddie swing, just a board with ropes that their father had made before any of them could remember. I drove out to the neighborhood and found the house and, though it was winter, took a photo of the house and the swings in particular. I made certain the trees and swings were clearly seen.

The swings in the maple tree.

The swings in the maple tree.

Sketches and paintings of homes were at one time a popular gift for children moving away, parents selling the big family home to downsize, or grandchildren who’d never seen the place but heard the stories. Photographing a home well enough to make it a framable portrait of the place is not an easy task as it’s difficult to get a good angle, good weather, and nothing in the way like neighbor’s cars all at the same time. An artist could render the place from photos and leave out the things you didn’t want and add the things you did. Most often these sketches were in ink and were also printed as note cards in addition to  the original art.

You can read more about commissions of homes or special places, and other commissioned artwork including pets and people.

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