Thursday, July 16, 2015

Adventures in Painting While Standing On The Sidewalk

Earlier this I stopped at Howard County Community College to paint a scene of the campus.  I don't want to get in trouble, so I do not set up an easel; I just stand out of the way and hold my watercolors, brushes, picture, and everything in my hands while I paint.  If there is a problem I could easily move out of the way or leave.

I found a nice spot to with a view of one of the buildings, the Hickory Ridge Building, it has engaging angles, dramatic lines and bold dark windows.

I chose an interesting angle that showed a lovely tree, road, and garden; and established myself next to a railing about 35 yards from the front door and across the street.

I had my watercolor paper taped to a cardboard place mat and I was able to hold it in in one hand and sketch with the other.  The sketching took over an hour, it is best to take the time and get as much detail and accuracy as possible. This used up all my the time for that day.

The next day was cloudy. This would be a good time to print the picture since the light was not too bright; if you paint outdoors in bright light the colors look dull when you bring it inside later on.

I used painters tape to secure my bowl of water to the place-mat that was my hand held easel.  I held the place-mat, brushes, and paint in one hand and work with the other.

The cloud cover was good for a while but they passed by leaving me in the bright sunlight, and I was wishing for a hat to keep the light out of my eyes.  Fighting thoughts of giving up I moved a few feet into the shadow of the parking garage and kept on working.

Now there was a little progress on the picture. The beginnings are always easy with the basic flat sides of the buildings, large areas of asphalt, and blue sky.  I was struggling with the greens and shapes of the garden when I felt a raindrop.  The clouds had come back and I didn't notice the beginnings of a downpour.  It was frustrating that after only twenty minutes I was now trying to pack up before my work washes away.  As I removed  my water bowl it spilled on the picture. "Oh Well," I thought. "I'll just fix it later." After fumbling to get everything into my bag I dashed to the parking garage.

Five minutes later the rain stopped and the sun shown again.  I sauntered out and set up again and started to work on more of the details and the tree. After about an hour the setting sun made me pack up.

I think the picture is about half finished. I hope to get back to the same location and work on it some more.  If I can't get there in the next day or two I will use some photos I took to finish it.

Unfinished Painting HCC Hickory Ridge Building

(c) Adron

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