Monday, June 23, 2014

"Timucuan family house"

"Timucuan family house"
12 x 20.5" acrylic on board
The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine is one of my favorite places to visit and paint. If you're in the area and want to get away from the roller coaster side of Florida attractions, this is a great place. To begin my day I drank a cup of water from the fountain and began this plein air painting.

Note: Here's a webpage of downloadable video demonstrations.

 This is a masonite board primed with Gesso. I used charcoal to establish the composition which was basically the three huts. There was a lot going in the scene in addition to the three buildings (Timucuan Indian family houses) but they would be the center of interest so placing them in the right place was of prime importance. The shelters reminded me of the haystacks that Monet once painted.

Acrylics were used in the paining and the large shapes were blocked in. A very limited palette was used consisting of White, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Indian Yellow, Cad Yellow Light, and Alizarin Crimson. I did add some Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna towards the end of the painting.

Establishing the patterns and values was of prime importance getting my darks, middle tones and lights in the piece. Since acrylics were used, it all dried very quickly allowing me to layer color on top of color in order to build up nice layers of colors and tones.

This is how the scene looked through the lens of a camera. You can see that highlight values in the sunlit sides of the shelters show up with very little color, one of the disadvantages of working from photos. Fortunately, I had plenty of time to work on location and didn't have to rely on any photos. As I look at the photo, I'm personally amazed at how little information is in the photo as compared to what I was actually seeing while on location.

Refinements were made and large areas and shapes began to be refined. Negative areas were carefully placed.

Here in the final painting, I added a few figures and the small wood fire with a hint of white smoke rising up. I also simplified and darkened the foreground so as to bring more attention to the area where the figures are standing.

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