Thursday, June 10, 2010

Painting the Cottages - Summary

Yesterday, we had beautiful sunshine. I took a large 18x24 stretched canvas out to the field and began to paint more lupines. I really wanted to work on a larger version of the lupines I've been painting recently. After about two hours and my block-in, the clouds rolled in and the light changed. I figure I'm about halfway through and will return when the sun comes back tomorrow.

Now that I've painted the Roosevelt Park cottages, I thought it would be instructive to show them again all at once and to discuss why I made certain choices. They're at the bottom of this post. You'll notice I used two different formats, a panoramic one and a square one.

For the cottages that were well-sited with a view, a panorama was a no-brainer. For ones that were closed in with trees or had a small lot, I chose the square. The Wells-Shober cottage was problematic. I couldn't back up far enough to present the whole building properly. Instead, I chose to focus on the abstract quality of the close-up. The Hubbard cottage had another problem, but problems sometimes open opportunities. The view I had wanted to paint was blocked by a service truck, but this forced me to choose another angle, and so I discovered the view with a truly beautiful, giant red maple. Later I went back to the view I had wanted to paint originally, and again chose a square format to emphasize the abstract quality of the architecture.

Since I originally photographed these paintings, I made some minor adjustments in the studio. The adjustments were limited to softening or strengthening an edge or knocking down brushstrokes. The new photographs are also more accurate with color.

By the way, I did not type this post today but actually dictated it to my computer. Yes, I spoke my post. I'm using Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dictating is harder than you'd think. I'm a natural typist and very comfortable with making quick, off-the-cuff corrections in Microsoft Word. Trying to speak coherently, logically and grammatically, all the while trying to issue voice command corrections, is a skill that must be learned. Believe it or not, this is a lot harder than extemporaneous speaking!

"Red Maple, Hubbard Cottage" 12x24, oil


"Hubbard Cottage" 12x12, oil


"Mr Roosevelt's House" 12x24, oil


"Prince Cottage" 12x24, oil


"Wells-Shober Cottage" 12x12, oil


1 comment:

Lori Bonanni said...

Michael, Love your blog! Hubbard Cottage is my favorite, the light on the red roof really pops!