Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Plein Air Week 3: Hamilton Avenue

I live near a street with a lot of really quaint old houses with amazing landscaping. 

For my focus next week I'm going to work on painting at least one of the houses from this street.

 I went during lunch today and took some photos of a couple that were especially nice so I can practice at home a few times before doing it "for reals."

I'm a little worried that at some point when I actually set up to paint right on the sidewalk in front of their house things could get a little tense with the people that live there.  I'm not sure what the etiquette is, like whether I should knock on their door and ask, or just go for it.  Hopefully if they're even home they'll feel flattered.

Maybe if any of my preliminary sketches go well I'll bring them along and give them one as a peace offering.  :)

I'm still working on cumulus clouds.  So far no luck!  Which means I'm botching most of my skies lately unless I leave them very plain.  The vegetation here is also overworked.  I think I put in the darks too densely, too near the top of the plant.  The green mini hedge gave me some trouble - I think if I took it more slowly I'd have better luck.  I like that I was able to keep the brightness of the side of the house.

I painted this doorway in less than an hour during a lunch break and I think the doorway itself turned out pretty well.  I think it has depth, and I like the white reflections on the door.  If I add a shadow to the wheelbarrow I think it'll help it, and if I faded out the path sooner, or did dark grass and a light path that would probably have been a better choice.  My white shutters in both paintings haven't looking very convincing.  For one thing, instead of the dark outlines I will try a pale gray next time for texture and indicate the shadows and edges with a darker shade of the house color.  

The big problem is really the plants.  I'd blame the trouble on lack of time, but my plants always come out kind of like this.

I'll probably just do one more painting of this house, I need to do the on-site version, and then I'm going to spend the rest of this week practicing shrubbery, trees and skies.

This is still a work in progress, I like the sky though.  Really, really pale colors are what worked, I started with a pale blue on the left and then added a little yellow as I went right.  Lucky I didn't turn everything green!  I still have more to do on it, but I couldn't stay at the site any longer (rain!) so I'll have to finish it up at home.

Oh, funny story - a bird pooped on it and on my hand!  Guess we know what the bird thought of my work.  :)

No comments: