Process

Margaret works with customers of varying needs. This customer is a builder who is eager to sell his house prior to its completion.  If local, Margaret will visit the site and meet with the builder.  First they discuss what angle of the house will be most attractive in the portrait.  Then they discuss materials, paint colors and details such as window color and front door design.  Margaret is often asked her opinion on final colors and gives recommendations when the builder is unsure.  Next they discuss landscape and hardscape such as driveway angles and tree locations.  Most builders give Margaret freedom to design the landscaping to suit the lines and colors of the house.
 
Margaret will often provide the customer with a line drawing she calls and "underlay" which the customer then approves for house angle, landscape and other details.  Showing the customer this stage in Margaret's work is useful for the customer to see the potential end result and make changes without too much work on Margaret's part.  Depending on the customer's request, Margaret will do this "underlay" in pencil or ink usually on either watercolor paper or canvas.
 
Margaret then completes the portrait usually in watercolor, pencil, ink or acrylic.  She also works in  oil but the drying time is much longer.  Margaret photographs all of her finished portraits and can provide her customers with a digital file on request.  Some of her customers like to use these digital images to make copies of the portrait for their family members. Some customers make "thank you" or "just moved" note cards.  Her builders often use these digital files for outdoor signs, pamphlets or the MLS Directory.
 
Margaret will take an image of your pet and change the background to a preferred color that matches your interior space. She can also totally change the portrait background to any place your imagination takes you.
 
Margaret works in many media, including charcoal and colored pencils, pastels, ink as well as watercolor, oil, and acrylic paints using both brush and palette knife.  "Unlike many artists, I dabble in varying styles and media.  I am challenged and hope to improve and evolve with every piece I produce"
 
Margaret usually starts with a line drawing of her houses with much detail in the architecture and landscape. "Many of my clients, especially builders and architects insist on precise colors and details.  Unlike some of my oil landscapes where I may take a few hours to finish, my house portraits take several hours and often a few days." Next Margaret starts her watercolors with the sky and windows which usually are in the same color scheme.  I work "wet-on-wet" paint to create the clouds.  Then while that dries she does a transparent wash on the ground and main subject for highlights and lighter tones. She then gradually overlays darker tones.  "Most of my shadows are painted "wet-on-dry" for a crisp edge. My trees are a combination of wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry work. It is important that the trees in the background are lighter and have less detail than those in the foreground." She finishes off with almost opaque paint for tiny details, major contrast and big impact.  "Often the photos from which I am working are not optimal and have poor lighting.  They may be taken during construction or in the wrong season.  I just use my knowledge of shadows, landscaping and a few tricks of the trade to make the house look its best."