Thursday, October 23, 2014

Adapting What You See...It's Your Artistic Prerogative!

This painting of a Tudor house was one of my reserve paintings during the Mount Lebanon Plein Air event. I sketched it on a sunny day last summer, sitting on my little three-legged stool across the street from it, then finished up a lot of the details back home in my studio. But as you'll see, a lot of those details aren't exactly what I saw in front of me that day. I changed quite few of them to make the scene my own.

"Summertime on Rosemont Drive", 8" x 10", ink & watercolor on Stillman & Birn Zeta series paper

Because I was working in a vertical format in my 9 x 12 Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook, I just didn't have room to include all of the scene. I decided my focus would be on the flowers and the quaint cottage-y style of the old brick Tudor. There was a large maple tree in front of the house, which shaded most of my subject - I had to eliminate it, so I decided to zoom in on the house and make the whole front of it sunlit.

As you can see in the photo, above, there was a stair-step brick wall bordering the driveway. I decided to replace it with a low line of stones and more vegetation, to help lead the eye into the picture and make it more welcoming.

I exaggerated the size of the roses on the corner by the street and added more flowers to the foundation plantings.

I brought the background trees up above the roof line to soften the angular lines of the roof. I wanted the house to feel cozy and enveloped by trees.

I didn't paint all the details of the brick, but simply suggested them by painting individual groups of bricks here and there.

For the slate roof, I lightly drew guidelines with a grey colored pencil, then loosely painted in the shingles, trying not to make them look too uniform.

I guess maybe I romanticized this cottage a bit with all my changes, but isn't that my prerogative as an artist? I love pink roses, old houses, stone walls, bright blue skies, and cottage gardens, so that's what I tend to paint, and that's okay. It's me!

1 comment:

  1. The house itself is great, but your painting improved it!


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