I don’t just make lampshades you know…

gilhoole house portrait
gilhoole house portrait

I have a handful of orders for house portraits to complete at the moment, so not so much lampshade making going on at gilhoolie (still a few though, don’t worry). It’s a good job I love drawing. Yesterday I was listening to the radio (it has to be BBC Radio 6 Music during the day; I love the live music, interviews and friendly banter) while drawing a picture of a lovely Victorian house with beautiful sash windows.

I thought it would be good to write about the house portraits on here; including the process, the options available and what to do if you’d like to order one yourself.

Well, it all starts off with a good quality photo of the front of a house, taken square-on. I also need lots of close-ups of any details such as:

Victorian window








brickwork, chimneys etc, the more the better.

I live in Maidenhead so if it’s of a house not far away I usually take the photos myself – which is great but can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially if I’m doing it as a surprise present for someone and the house owner appears at a window which is what happened this week! I don’t think they saw me sitting in my car taking photos, well I hope not anyway…

Once I’ve drawn the house from the photos (usually omitting foliage but sometimes included if I think it adds to the picture), I start on the sky background. There are two options for this:

collage sky
collage sky in blues and turquoises
gilhoolie pattern sky in duck egg blue printed on paper
gilhoolie pattern sky in duck egg blue printed on paper









Both options can be made in different colours if you prefer, just let me know when you order. The collage sky is made from magazine cuttings; I knew those magazine subscriptions would come in handy one day! The gilhoolie pattern is a retro design I came up with a while ago, when I first started gilhoolie. They both go well with any style of house, it’s up to you.

I also add a message at the bottom of the picture; usually along the lines of “The Gardner Family, 1 gilhoolie Road, Maidenhead) 🙂 but it can be whatever you choose.

Some of the house pictures are Christmas orders so I don’t feel comfortable posting them on here, just in case – you’ll have to wait a few months to see the finished artwork I’m afraid!

If you’d like to order a house portrait for yourself or for a friend, just get in touch or visit my etsy or folksy shops. They come unframed but in a 12″ by 10″ mount and backing board. Oh, and don’t forget, they make lovely wedding presents too, just send me photos of the happy couple’s wedding venue instead…

3 thoughts on “I don’t just make lampshades you know…

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