Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Stoney Brook Inn" - Oil - 11" x 14" - Available through The Book Gallery.

"McCloud, California, near Mt. Shasta, is a charming lumber town that has seen rebirth recently. The Stoney Brook Inn sits at the north end of main street and is sheltered by surrounding conifers and broadleaf trees. It made a delightful subject." --- SFG

Work in progress...

This painting is due for a show in 3 days. I must paint directly and surely to keep the sparkle. Then I'll shove it into the warmth of the attic space in my studio so it will be dry enough to deliver. (Remember, it's often 100 degrees here in the summer, so I cannot paint on location for this one. I have a strong sense of self-preservation!)
My drawing lays out the general shapes of the building and I've paid attention to the design of the trees in the background, which are too monotonous as they are. I've added the snowy slope of Mt. Shasta, which actually lies more to the left, just out of the picture frame, since it is a major part of the environment.

I've laid in the darkest darks. Only the accents will be darker. I pay attention to the design of each tree, making sure there are a variety of shapes and the distribution plays like musical notes...irregular beats and spaces. Also part of the dark are the shadowed porches, though they won't be as dark as the trees in the end.

Since the front of the inn is in shadow, these tones are still part of the darks of the painting. Also, I've established the value of the cast shadow at the lower right as one of the darks.

When I teach, I always emphasize separation of light and shadow. If you establish a roadmap of the darks from the start, it is much easier to see where they fall. Remember, nothing in light can be as dark as the lightest area in shadow AND nothing in shadow can be as light as the darkest area in light.

For this step, I've painted all the areas in light. Can you see that all of them are lighter than the lightest dark? If not, squint!

Oops. As I've begun to add detail to the front of the building, I realize that my drawing is off on the peak of the higher roof. Also, I don't like the tree branch just right of it, too. Correcting both take just a moment and I mustn't fuss over them. I also feel the need for a softer value change in the lower left corner.

In the final version, those problems have been solved and I've added sufficient detail to the fence, brick entry posts, steps, balustrades, and other trim. The raking light that falls on the building front and the sunlit, dappled light on the roof are included.

1 comment:

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Bravo! Great commentary and wonderful results. Thank you so much.