Monday, July 5, 2010

Litchfield Green, July 2, ‘10

This past Friday’s Painting Outside! session was held at the Litchfield Green.  It was somewhat chilly and windy, but still a lovely day.  It was also somewhat noisy because of what seemed to be heavier than normal traffic on Rt 202, probably because of the 4th of July holiday, with more people traveling in cars & motorcycles or arriving from NYC for the weekend, more deliveries by big trucks to local markets, more landscaping and re-modeling & equipment hauled by big trucks, etc.

Photo #1 is the result of my morning’s painting when it was time to quit and leave.  I felt that I had enough information in my mind from the morning’s work to bring it further along, so I did that in the past hour.

Following the ‘light to dark’ theory, I started out by covering the picture surface with a light application of gray that I mixed from UB, CR and CY.  After the light coating, and as the wet surface dried, I put in thicker applications of the gray – which I picked up from the puddle of gray I’d mixed to begin the painting – into areas I wanted to be darker.  So, a light application of paint mixed with water leaving me a rough indication of where I want my lights and darks to go, then a gradual building of color and tone until the end of the session and the results as seen above.


What I did this morning was to re-work some of the spots that needed to be strengthened.  The only surface of the painting I didn’t re-work was the roof of the building.

I started out with the red of the building and to get the red, I mixed CR with UB and CY; wanted something that was more red.  I thought of the mix this way; the hue of the shadow section of the building was red, but a cool red because it’s in the shadow.  So I started with red, then added blue because blue (a receding hue)  is a cool color (as opposed to a warm color).  I then added a tiny bit of CY, the complement to red/blue,  to dull down the red/blue a little, to edge the color more toward a gray than leave it a violet.  This mix of paint was thicker than the mixes in the previous layer.  The consistency was closer to somewhat thinned nail polish/enamel.  Somewhat watery but thick enough to be spread over the area representing shadow area.  I went around the stone facings and trim on the building, left it as it was when I finished phase 1.  I used some of the red/blue/yellow mix with a bit more blue added for the shadow under the roof on the far side, the same mix with more blue (cool, color, brighter) added to the shadow on the near side.  

After that, I mixed a cool green from UB and CY and a tiny bit of red, the paint thicker than the previous layer, did the large area of tree leaves behind the building and to the left, in the painting.  After that, I added in a bit more CY (for light) and went over the tree area again.  I used the same green mix with varying amounts of additions of UB and CY as the area I worked on got closer to the area I’d designated as where the sun was hitting each.  I used quite a bit of mostly blue/yellow in the area of tree that’s up against the Light side of the building.  When the green was dry, I glazed the Light side of the building with a medium consistency value of CY.  The highest concentration of CY was at the corner with the 2nd highest concentration of CY bleeding out from the corner under the roof and going down the side of the building.  I graded the yellow out to thin into the orange that was already there.  The center of the orange spot is untouched and is the deepest orange.  I grayed-out the area behind the bush and building on the left side of the painting, used the most color (blue) in the shadow behind the bush.  I left the pale yellow area as it was, as it represented a part of the house that was in Light to the left of and behind this building.

I then re-touched the sky area.  I did this with a minuscule amount of neutral gray to which I added a minuscule amount of yellow and approx 3 times blue.  I applied this paint starting from the top, in a semi-watery layer and doing a graded wash until it was more water than paint by the time I reached the roofline of building.  As it dried, I applied a thicker layer of paint, grading it down the same as I’d done the previous layer.  While the top of the painting was still wet, I added in a little of the thickening blue/sky mix across the top, just a little, near the edge, enough to run into and blend into the wet.

I’m satisfied with this painting as a sketch and know I’ll look back on it as a fond, happy memory.

Our next session will be -- Weather Permitting! -- in Milton, on the Green.  I’m looking forward to this as I’ve never painted here.  Also, looking forward to spending time with artists in the pursuit of a painting.

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