Friday, December 27, 2013

A Homey Christmas

Merry (belated) Christmas! I think this holiday season will go down in Bohne history as a pretty great one, namely because it was our first Christmas together as Mr. & Mrs. in our new house. We had a very busy Christmas schedule, but in the best way possible. 

This year I wanted to give the ladies (and gents) of the family a portrait of their homes as our gift to them. This project has 3 easy steps: trace, color, hang. Easy as that. After making my first GIF to show our Christmas tree going up, I thought this project may be even more worthy. Ta da...

Before we get to the how-to of the home portraits (you can skip to the bottom if you just want the step-by-step breakdown), let's do a little Christmas recap. I didn't do the best job of documenting things with pictures, but here's what I have...

On Christmas Eve, John's whole family sans two members (so thats 14) gathered  at his grandparents' house for dinner and gifts.

On Christmas morning, my dad and I woke up at 6:30 to get John's present set up. He had asked for seat covers from a company out of Hawaii called Wet Okole (which literally means wet bottom/hiney/toucas/derriere/touschy). Since we're hoping to get a pooch soon, we thought they would be a good thing to have since they're easy to clean (the seats are actually made out of wet suit material, so they aren't absorbent) and look snazzy.

After that, we headed to John's parents' house for breakfast and presents with them and my brother-in-law and his wife.

Then we were off to my dad's house for presents and lunch with him and his girlfriend.

Filet mignon with homemade béarnaise, roasted asparagus,
and a baked potato. Mmm... 

Chief refused to play with the Christmas toys we bought him, but
he thought the bag of gift wrap trash was the place to be.

Next we met my Mom and her husband back at our house for presents and dinner.

Our very first Christmas tree in our house as Mr. & Mrs.! Too bad you can't
tell my pants were green… we were a very festive pair.

Chicken croquettes, fried brussels sprouts with onion balsamic reduction,
and saffron rice. Of 21 croquettes, 2 cups of rice, and a whole bag
of brussels sprouts, what's in this picture is all that was left!
Hands down my favorite meal. Ever.

Then, back to John's parents' house for dessert and puzzles. Whew! 

Ready for the breakdown on the house portraits? I basically followed the exact same procedure from when I made watercolor maps.

I printed the pictures of everyone's home out and put graphite paper down so I could trace them onto the watercolor paper. I know, it's totally cheating. But let's be honest: I can be crafty, but "artistic" is a stretch. Painting and drawing have always been my least favorite parts of art because I'm terrible at depicting reality (as you will soon see...).

Up first was my mother & father-in-law's house because they're just around the corner and I could get a picture quick and easily. 

I just used a pen to trace over the main areas so I could see which parts I had already done.

This is what was left on the watercolor paper from the graphite paper (the reason the sketch doesn't go to the top of the paper is because the paper was too big and I was waiting to trim it down).

Then... I started painting. The trees seemed like a safe place to start.

Then I moved on to the rest of the house. I wasn't too happy with how things were looking... it felt really drab/sad/boring/monotone/etc.

Luckily, the trees and grass really livened things up. It's certainly no masterpiece, but it was a decent first effort. 

Next, I did my mom's house. I was actually with her when I took the picture--I told a little while lie and said I was using it for my real estate website to show homes in different parts of Austin. Since we're in the middle of winter, the trees have no leaves and their grass isn't particularly green at the moment, so she wasn't all that pleased the image was going to be publicized. Surprise! Let's call this the summer version, rather than the winter version.

I accidentally forgot to take a picture of the final product, but here it is nearly finished (I hadn't completed the tree on the right yet).

Next, John's grandparents' house (sorry it's blurry…).

Then I did John's aunt & uncle's house... boy do they have a lot of trees!

Next I did my dad's girlfriend's condo which was a little tricky because she lives on the second story. I had to zoom in quite a bit... and because I know it's hard to tell--those brown stripes on the right depict her wood siding. It was rough to paint... don't judge.

Last but not least, I did my brother & sister-in-law's house.

Whew. This project was challenging. I'm glad I made a GIF because it really helps show the different steps, which is nice because when you're all done, there's something gratifying about seeing it broken down.

After I finished them all, I got some matching frames from Michael's and wrapped them up in butcher paper and ribbon. I used different fonts to write out who they were to, and luckily I didn't mix any of them up :)

Disclaimer to watercolor portrait recipients: there is no pressure to actually
hang these up!
 No offense will be taken if they end
up under the guest room bed :)

So what did you do for the holidays? Did you celebrate with family? Make any DIY gifts?

No comments:

Post a Comment