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Day 16 : #30x30DirectWatercolor : Cortona Redux

June 16, 2020

Day 16: A side street in Cortona, Italy.

This one is intersting – because I can show you the painting I made on location, back in 2015.

Fascinating how different the color is eh? Is that due to working from a photo? Or just my sensibility changing?

I’m not sure – but I can say, the new foliage looks like it’s transmitting sunlight – where the old plants look plastic, despite the intense sun.

The old painting has this rusty orange sense of heat. The light is bleached out and high-key. It was brutal – painting out in the sun. (Crazy tourists!)

In the new painting, the drawing of the street is better – the perspective is less cheated – Because of the reference? I don’t see why, because I could have measured just as easily in real life. Just new skills I guess. Maybe because it’s easier to slow down and check things when you’re working in the comfort of home.

Either way – there’s more depth and subtlety now. I can see myself improving!

Here by the way, is the photoshop-tweaked-photo I worked from.

The weird angles on the sides are an effect left over after perspective correction. I’ve removed the wide-angle distortion of the lens, so it’s closer to how the human eye sees it. But then I just add back in my own wonky perspective :)

I guess that’s how I roll.

You’re welcome by the way to use any of these photographs on the blog for your own sketches. Or even copy the paintings if you want.

Take care – and see you tomorrow with new videos!

We’ll have part three of our critique going up – discussing the last few days paintings, and – two more big surprises!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    June 16, 2020 7:07 AM

    Great work! Are eyes follow through the second painting on the whites that were left, the sparkles. Also your greens on the first one looks more blue and the second one the greens are warmer which make them come forward.

  2. June 16, 2020 8:30 AM

    Great info Mark, I have been working on a fundraiser for Gallery Stratford. 3 x3 inch paintings that are sold by auction. It has been interesting. I use any sketches I have from urban sketchers time and take a current photo from my car. You are right the colours are so different. Great to see your comparisons and the exciting new colours. Thanks for sharing.
    My Instagram page (link in website below) shows you the 4 mini series that I am doing.

  3. Diane and erik Madsen permalink
    June 16, 2020 8:49 AM

    Morning Di, hope you are doing better…. Here is an interesting one, I like his old painting better than the new I think…. Your thoughts? Love you, Erik

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Robin permalink
    June 16, 2020 9:50 AM

    Very cool 😎 Thanks for sharing! Both paintings appealing… constantly eveloving 👍🏼 Oh, thank you, I might just try copying yours… looking up some old Italy photos of my own from a couple years ago. You have inspired me 👩🏻‍🎨

  5. June 16, 2020 10:53 AM

    HI Marc, The second was does seem to express more of the heat of the heat of the day. You didn’t mention the time spent on each one?
    Always enjoy seeing your work!

    • June 17, 2020 10:58 AM

      As for time – I would bet it was pretty close to the same. Almost every (small) painting takes me between 20 and 45 minutes. It’s just my natural pace.

  6. June 16, 2020 4:12 PM

    Not sure what the gate-like thing is at the end of the street on your first try. But is kind of stops your eye from going all the way back–along with the house planted right behind it. Your new one has a very engaging path all the way to the back of the painting.

    • June 17, 2020 10:57 AM

      Yes! on the first try, I placed my ‘eye’ half way down the alley. In the ‘from photo’ shot, you see it from where we were standing – behind a ledge up on a little rise. So the second painting really is twice as far back.

  7. mlaiuppa permalink
    June 16, 2020 4:55 PM

    I’d say it’s more like your style has evolved over the last five years. Doing in the leisure of the studio rather than the haste of location may also be a factor.

    • June 17, 2020 10:55 AM

      That’s definitely true in some ways – the leisure of the studio – (no bugs, no heat, etc). Tt just makes the doing of it more pleasant at my old age of 52. I have tendon problem in my foot right now too! So I feel 10 years older than I am. The other thing is the ability to paint bigger at home. (Pre-mixed paint in cups! Takes up a whole tabletop to be ready for the blitz). I think on small works – I could mix up a pile of studio and location paintings and you wouldn’t be able to tell. But I can certainly paint bigger at home than I can out there. Maybe this fall I’ll go out with some big boards and gallon jugs of water and prove I can beat that challenge :)

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