Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Dappled Welcome

While visiting Rio de Janeiro recently, my husband and I stayed in a cute town called Urca, under the distant but watchful gaze of Christ the Redeemer.  I took dozens of vista photos, but the one that inspired this painting is what I was most excited to capture -- our morning view from the bus stop :)  The early light dappled through the canopy of trees and onto a common South American wall, creating an inviting scene that was anything but common.  Welcome to Rio!

I decided to crop the photo so that the door was off-center, allowing room for the lovely dappled light to lead the viewer's eye to the even more lovely dappled doorway.  Here's my quick sketch, focusing on getting the perspective right.

In this step, I covered the canvas with transparent paints that were a close approximation to the final colors I wanted (or at least in the same family).  The sidewalk and white of the wall have their first coat of opaque paint.

...working on the door, which is the focal point so I gave it the most attention...

...starting on the house in the background and the vines on the wall...

Here I worked on the house to the right, which was tricky because my photo left that area ill-defined and I didn't really like what I saw.  So I pulled out my artistic license and painted what I wanted :)

After adjusting and softening the shadows to make them look more organic, I finished the vines, and tweaked warm/cool colors.  Done!  (Ha!  That almost makes it sound easy.)
"A Dappled Welcome", 18x24 Oil, available

Here's the photo again for comparison.  Thanks for watching!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Corner of Sunshine

Today's Sun Day Art blog post is in honor of my father and mother-in-law who are preparing to sell their beautiful home in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. 

I love finding spots where the sun is slipping around a corner.  It makes me want to soak in the moment because I know I can't hold on to it.  This sunlit corner caught my eye when we were visiting my father and mother-in-law.  The warm tile, clay pots, and stucco walls filled the corner with glowing reflected light, as well as the direct sunlight filtered through the flowers.  Ten minutes later, the allure of this corner had slipped away until another day...

I chose to crop the photo so that the focus was on the fleeting sunlight.

Starting with a little 6x6 study, one of the (very) subtle things that I enjoyed about this composition was the way the white plastic chair serves to soften and add interest to the bottom left corner.
Corner of Sunshine, 6x6 Oil, sold

And here's a larger 20x20 version.  Love that sunlight!
Corner of Sunshine, 20x20 Oil, sold

Me and my dad :)