Sunday, June 12, 2016

Watercolor Of An Old Forgotten Beach House

When my family took a little visit to the Chesapeake Bay I took as much of my art supplies as I could cram in my bag. Whenever I had a few minutes I did a little watercolor painting. Here is one of them.

This is an old abandoned beach house that was next to the one we were staying at.  The trees and bushes had gone wild and were beginning to consume the house. The boards were all weathered and reddish gray and the roof had shingles missing. There was a porch overhang but nothing below remaining. You could see where the property lines met by the manicured lawn ending with wild growth. The distant background was a row of trees across the lagoon, but I was focusing on the character of the house and its immediate property, so I edited a lot of the surrounding areas out. I really liked the greens and reds against each other.

When you see an old house that is falling down from decades of neglect you wonder who lived there and what happened. It is sad.

I walked around the building a few times and finally decided on a view based on the light and contrast provided by wood and foliage. I just took a chair and set it on the lawn about fifty feet away and painted this in about an hour.

I used a medium brush for the beginning lay-down with a lot of water for the background and sky. I just let the colors flow and blend together. I try to always give the sky some movement but I wish I had more blues in the sky, (I always have this regret for some reason). The house was painted with a medium flat for most of it. I had a lot of difficulty with the shadows and the texture of the bushes.
I used a small brush for the bushes and the grass. I like a dotty approach to leaves in trees and bushes so to get a lot of texture in them but the problem was that the darks were not coming out like I wanted. There should not be as much detail in the shadows so I ended up using water in the shadows to soften the edges of the brush strokes. I should have gone with some muddier tones in places for contrast and to deepen the shadows but I was afraid of overdoing it.

Forgotten Beach House

There were several different views of the house I would have liked to paint since the front overhang porch was so dramatic and there were lots of holes from missing siding on the back. I'll just have to go back some day and if it hasn't washed away into the bay I will paint it again.


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(C)Adron Dozat