We came across Melbourne illustrator Dawn Tan’s house portraits recently and felt they were too good not to share. Priced between $300 to $500 they’re affordable too and you know how we love that!
“I started drawing people’s homes in 2012. I didn’t actually plan on doing so but I passed this cute blue house in Albert Park one morning and it was so blue and I adorable I had to draw it. I literally sat by the side of the road, took out my paint set and drew on the spot and that sparked something in me!”
“I went on to paint my friend’s house, then mine and then when people found out what I was doing they wanted their homes painted,” says Dawn, whose custom house portraits are often given for special occasions like a grandparent’s anniversary, friend’s wedding or the arrival of a new baby.
She works from your photos and can even accommodate special requests like including a pet or favourite chair in the picture, which takes several weeks to complete.
Dawn’s background is one of art and design – she originally studied a graphic design diploma in her hometown of Singapore before moving to Australia to study Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.
Favouring watercolours, ink and the occasional coloured pencil, we love Dawn’s inexact approach which gives her work a real handmade quality. “I always make it a point that my lines are a little wonky and not too straight. Life is too short to be serious all the time. Have fun!” says Dawn, whose schedule is jam-packed these days.
“I spend my days teaching art part time to primary school children and the rest of my days freelancing as an illustrator. I also run monthly themed watercolour workshops. I always try to keep things fun and interesting. I find people get excited when they know they’re coming to a cheese painting class, rather than a normal watercolour class!”
For commissions or to sign up for Dawn’s next watercolour class, see here.