A commission to create a painting from photographs
for an intern leaving for the next leg of her journey landed on my desk.
I typically work on several images at the same time;
it relieves the pressure in case one goes awry when a deadline is involved.
The two photographs that appealed to me most are shown below.
*the image above is for the studio voyeurs, of which I am one*
I never intended for them to be replications but interpretations of the images.
The joy of owning a painting instead of snapshot is the artist’s interpretation.
Above, the first image, with the addition of a mid-century modern car, sketch to final.
Below, steps from inked sketch to finished watercolor on the second image.
My sketch is not used quite like a coloring book; I don’t intend to stay in the lines!
I began with masking fluid. I could be very very careful,
but why, when I can mask off the areas and splash around freely?
Tiny flowers, window frames, car lights (in the first image above.)
Next come the underlayers:
Grisaille, this time in the form of grey ink for shadows, window panes, rooftops;
Brunaille, the underlayer of brown in inks and paint for sidewalk and rooftop; and
Verdaille, in this case used as underlayers of green, both the bright shown and a grey-green not shown, both of which allows a tie in of the other greens as they are applied.
Beginning colors that will not interfere with the overwhelming greens in the image
were next: blues and purples and browns. So many of the houses are colorful;
I decided to paint these homes in typical colors of the neighborhood.
Once I got started I forget to stop for process shots!
I worked greens for several layers, and overworked one area which you will see I later lifted and softened by balancing darks. Reds and additional browns were added last.
Above are details of the succession of masked areas
before removal, after removal, and with the additional painted colors onto the
masked areas. Not all were painted; white left adds to the painting!
Here the final painting, with the softened and balanced overworked tree,
and the final pops of color, including the family in the image.
Two differences in an urban sketch:
not so much layered paint as one broad stroke of paint color in an area; and
the time is not taken to articulate the leaves… they become a color, a suggestion,
whereas in a painting I am likely to detail leaves in my own suggestive manner.
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300 lb watercolor papers, Pentalic HB woodless pencil,
Noodler’s Lexington Grey Ink, Fineline Masking Fluid,
Platinum Carbon Pen with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges,
Sennelier, Holbein, and DS Primatek and Daniel Smith Watercolors.
©D. Katie Powell.
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I teach architectural sketching,
art journaling (art+writing), creativity, watercolors.
That annoying loud-mouth editor/critic in your head? GONE! How great would that be?
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Both paintings are fantastic. Thank you for sharing your process. It was interesting to see them develop.
You are welcome!
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Great stuff, Katie. I love both of your renditions and whoever commissioned you should be overjoyed with the results.
Thanks Bikerchick… He will pick the one he wants up Saturday.
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Pingback: Sketches toward the commission | D.Katie Powell Art
spectacular to watch your process of doing a commission. Whomever the customer is, they have good taste! Thanks for the good wishes and prayers on my health. I must admit it helps to hear others care and having stuff to continue to do with art to keep my mind off it all. I do love your style! Happy PPF!
Thank you! They are a local historic group and it is nice to do this with them!
I have three friends dealing wiht cancer, one is now out of the woods for a long while.
Anything I can do!
Wow – simply stunning! This is just wonderful!
Oh this is so lovely! And what a great idea for a farewell gift too! Happy PPF (I’m catching up a bit late).
Thanks. I am beyond catching up… been so dang busy with work!
It was fascinating to watch your process, Katie. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Anne! I’m not getting ot everyone’s blogs much these days due to work!