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Day Ten : #30x30DirectWatercolor2018

June 10, 2018

Ok! So. I went back and re-did my city hall painting – working from a photo back home.

This is pretty much the scene I failed to get on the spot – except – it’s about 50 yards further downhill. Got to remember the mantra: Get further away from the subject!

With the buildings smaller in the distance, it’s easier to treat them as simple forms with minimal detail. Just big shapes! I was previously getting lost on the details of the tower, the statue of Jaques Cartier on the plinth – there’s a clock on the front of the building, there’s decorative moulding and pillars on a balcony. Too much information!

All this stuff can be ignored when you pull back and paint the *entire* town square – not one individual building.

I still find this particular piece to be tentative. A bit of a shy statement. Dry and scratchy in some areas. But! I’m enjoying the brush-work calligraphy in the street vendors, and in all the windows and restaurant awnings on the far side.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Sopher permalink
    June 10, 2018 10:53 AM

    Wonderful. What was your palette? The second one is a great abstract as well as readable. Love the first..

    • June 10, 2018 11:05 AM

      Squinting at this – I think it’s Neutral Tint, Graphite Grey, Quin Gold and one or two touches of turquoise and perlyne maroon. Often I use bloodstone in the darks. maybe some transparent red oxide. These days I’m not really putting pure colors down – everything is a dab of this a blot of that :) Here’s the latest palette chart: https://citizensketcher.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/direct-watercolor-palette1.jpg

  2. June 10, 2018 11:00 AM

    Excellent observation! I actually prefer to draw people in motion from pictures of people in motion – the things that go unseen in the life of movement, and am not so keen on architecture. Recently, I made a big commitment to Bic .7 mm HB 2 and am committing everything I do in the next few months to it. Anyway, I discovered that sitting too close to architecture seems to obscure the beauty in it, even though the details are nice. I love doors and entrances, but their beauty seems to fade when one is up-close and personal to them. Drawing from a photo of a doorway can lead to a design. Drawing an actual doorway when outside apparently leads to compositional blindness.

    Any, you really cranked in emotion and motion into your latest creation! Applause!

  3. June 10, 2018 4:19 PM

    thanks for sharing your excellent work

  4. June 10, 2018 5:57 PM

    It makes the beginner in me feel better knowing that you pros sometimes forget to move further away! It is easy to think it’s always fabulous for others…but what it is is always a process. Thanks for continued inspiration!

    • June 10, 2018 6:03 PM

      It’s a example of the difference with Plien air. The place the photo is from, you can’t stand there (in the road, pedestrians, sun). The “bad spot” where I stood on the day was shaded and out of the way. I had an easel with me. If I hadn’t have done that I could have stood anywhere.

  5. joantav permalink
    June 10, 2018 6:18 PM

    I’m enjoying catching up on your last few direct watercolor paintings. Your tips are great and it is nice to know that sometimes you do several in one day to stay ahead. I like reading your thought process for these too. You are always so generous in sharing your knowledge.

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