Monday, May 31, 2010

More Cottages - Roosevelt Cottage

"Mr Roosevelt's House" 12x24, oil

Morning dawned clear and cold, so I knew I'd have good weather for a morning session at the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park. After several days of painting Victorian cottages, I felt I was ready for the ultimate challenge - the cottage that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt lived in during their summers on the island.

The Roosevelt cottage is different from all the others for two reasons. First, it's painted red, not white. Second, the architecture is, in some ways, more barn-like than cottage-like. But it's an impressive structure with some very daunting fenestration. (Visit to read the story of the cottage and to see some photos.) I chose an angle that was a bit different from the one tourists photograph, and I like the way the building is foreshortened and looks less barn-like.

As with the last cottage, I spent most of my session working on the drawing and placement of features. It didn't take long to color in the shapes. At the end, I had enough information on the panel to finish up in the studio.

By the way, for the shadowed reds of the cottage, I did a block-in with mostly Alizarin Crimson and a bit of Phthalo Green and Chromatic Black. At the end, I pulled out my secret weapon - Grumbacher's Thalo Red Rose. I laid this on top of the underpainting right from the tube to enrich the color. I also used a bit of it, mixed with a great deal of white, for the red in the Canadian flag in the back yard.

Finally, don't forget my eBay auction of small sketches. To see them, go to eBay and search on "Michael Chesley Johnson" or follow this link.

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