Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winding Way, Step 13

The finished painting


After carefully checking my photo references I realized that the front steps had two railings, and not just one. While I was in this railing mode, I painted the wrought iron railing and small deck outside the solarium. After adding flowers to the porch planters and cleaning up some other small areas, I was finished.

I signed my name in the lower left hand corner, and I call it "Winding Way."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Winding Way, Step 12

Finishing the tree and other details


The two major tree trunks were parallel, which was bothering me. So I redid the back trunk so it leaned the other way, making the space between the two more artistic. I then painted in foliage at the top of the painting, adding branches and limbs as I went along. There are a few areas that need to be cleaned up, but basically this part is done.

I revised the bushes around the circle, making them more in perspective. They were too much the same size and too much the same distance from one another. So I repositioned them, and in doing so, there is now one less.

I added the railing to the front steps, finished the shutters and windowboxes, and the azaleas on the side of the house.

Not much more to do!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Winding Way, Step 11

Adding the tree and more


The painting finally spoke to me and said it needed this foreground tree. It breaks up the symmetry of the driveway and foreground lawn shapes, see Step 9. Adding a vertical not only cuts the shapes into more artistic areas, but also enables me to gracefully add some leaves and branches in front of some less important areas of the house. The focus is on the front of the house.

I like the feeling of distance that the foreground tree gives the painting, as I had in my original sketch, see Step 2. I roughed in the tree trunk and some basic limbs, refined the trunk, and added the ivy border along the driveway with the cobblestones on the farside. On the porch, I added planters, though I haven't put anything in them yet. I resolved the driveway and foreground grass with dancing shadow patterns, adding sparkle to the painting.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Winding Way, Step 10

Landscaping the front lawn


I refined the capitals and bases of the columns on the front of the house, added the porch light, redrew and repainted the front steps and brick wall supporting the front columns and columns of the porte cochere.

On the front lawn, I refined the plantings in the circle: the center cedar tree, the surrounding evergreens, and the ring of blooming pink azaleas. Around the inside perimeter of the circular drive are small boxwood bushes. I defined some shadow and light areas on the lawn and drive but they are not finished.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Winding Way, Step 9

Finishing the house


Most of the house was done except the solarium, side porch and sleeping porch. These were the parts of the house that had been altered, and I had to use the client's photographs from the 60's to reconstruct it as it was then.

I pored over these photos with a magnifying glass to paint with the best accuracy I could. At this point the house is finished except for the tops and bottoms of the columns. I needed to make sure the columns were all the right size and in the right places before finishing them.

There are still decorative concrete benches and planters to put on the porch. Until I know exactly where they will be, I will next concentrate on finishing the foreground landscape.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Winding Way, Step 8

Painting more trees and beginning the house


Today I painted the rest of the background trees and began to identify the trees on the side yard. I eliminated the dark blob in the sky for now. I may still paint foliage there, but much later.

With the help of a T-square and large triangle, I measured all the vertical lines to make sure they were true. I also checked my perspective lines. As I paint, sometimes these lines move, so I always need to check up on them to make sure they're where they belong. Sneaky little devils!

Again, working back to front, I painted under the roofs of the side porch, portico and porte cochere, making them much warmer than were before. There is a lot of reflected light bouncing about. While I was under the portico, I did the front windows and shutters, sort of. They are not finished, but I'm getting there.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Winding Way, Step 7

Finishing the sky and trees

sky and trees

Since I had decided that I was only going to paint the sky and right-hand trees, my photo only shows that part of the painting. All the rest of it remains the same.

I started with the sky and the clouds, using a different brush for each color: a warm white one, a sky-blue one, and a cloud-shadow one.

Once I was done with the sky, I painted the trees behind the house and worked my way to the right. Since there are so many trees, I made every effort to keep the greens on the gray side, or the green would be overwhelming. I also tried to make the trees different color greens. I put in enough sky holes so that the birds can fly through. When the paint dries, I will put in a white dogwood tree.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Winding Way, Step 6

Color lay-in, part 3

Winding Way color lay-in-continued

I finished laying in color on the house, roughed in the dark green shutters, the lawn, azaleas, and driveway. I have established some shadow patterns from the unseen trees, and will see how the painting speaks to me as I go along.

When this step is done, I can proceed to the fun of refining and finishing the painting.