The view from the top of Mt. Battie is spectacular - deep blue ocean as far as the eye can see, dotted here and there with low-lying islands. Off in the distance, fifty miles or so to the northeast, Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park jut out into the sea. Down the hill lies the picture-perfect village of Camden.
|"Pretty Little Camden, Maine, "9" x 6", Stillman and Birn Alpha series hardbound sketchbook, ink & watercolor|
I used a Platinum Carbon fountain pen with Platinum Carbon ink and an extra fine nib for the drawing. The extra fine nib was a good choice for this scene with its tiny details. The sky and water were painted first...
|Step 1 - Paint the sky and water|
The next step was to paint the distant islands and fingers of land jutting out into Penobscot Bay. Moving into the mid-ground, I painted the bright yellow-green fields and some grassy areas along the water's edge and put the first bits of color on the buildings.
|Step 2 - Paint the distant land and begin picking out some of the mid- and foreground details.|
Moving into the foreground, I painted a lone evergreen and the light and middle values on the rocks.
The foreground grasses came next.
|Step 3 - Paint the foreground grasses|
While the first light yellow-green washes were still wet, I added darker tones to indicate shadows. As they dried, strokes of darker color were added to suggest texture/foliage.
Next, I painted the dark spit of land above the Camden woods and began adding more color to the houses so that when I began painting all the green trees in the mid-ground, I wouldn't accidentally paint over a tiny house.
|Step 4 - Paint the dark peninsula and add color to more buildings.|
It was finally time to tackle all the greenery in and around the town.
|Step 5 - Begin painting the trees around the buildings.|
I started with light to medium values of olive green and varied it by adding ultramarine blue for shadow tones. Sap green was used, also, and combined with ultramarine and burnt umber or burnt sienna for the deepest shadows.
I contrasted light sunlit sides of trees with darker areas that were in shadow. Individual trees were painted wet-in-wet, but, where I wanted a hard edge, I had to let some of them dry so that the adjacent tree color wouldn't run into them.
|Step 6 - Finish painting the more distant middle ground woods and the buildings in town.|
I made these darker and more subdued, to make them recede into the distance and focus the eye more on the foreground and the town. They were painted wet-in-wet, but I left bits of sparkling white paper here and there to keep the area from feeling dull and lifeless.
The homes and commercial buildings peeking out from behind the trees were finished simply and blue-grey shadows were added.
Then I called it done!
Pretty little Camden, Maine...it's always held a place in my heart, and now it's in my sketchbook, too!