Today I needed to do a piece from start to finish. Too twitchy to work on something larger...
A photo in a post on Little Bang Theory, the blog of The Cunning Runt, was the model for this watercolor and ink painting. I drew first, then inked in all the darkest areas, then went with the watercolors. The finished piece is a little over 10 x 14 inches. Click for a larger view.
The light scattered in all the leaves is beautiful in the photo, but it distracts from the larger shapes and patterns of light and dark that made me want to paint this. So I just went for the large dark masses, using blues, violets, and greens.
What I loved about this image is the lights and darks in the foreground - particularly the interplay of the shadows with the black of the windows and all the shapes around the brightly lit gables and dormers. I also love the red of the barn in the center right. And the height and details of the cupola.
And it helps that the Cunning Runt has composed the whole thing so it works immediately. All I had to do was get the proportions correct in my drawing to preserve the feeling I wanted. My page is a little shorter than his, so I do lose a little of the vertical drama of his photo. I was able to restore a little of that by making the cupola look a little more high and remote (size and atmospheric perspective).
Happily I could also edit the image in my head as I transposed it. So I left out details I didn't like, and I could trim the branches out of parts of the barns that I wanted plain and crisp edged. The Cunning Runt might have liked some of the details I removed... or not. But unless you want to get busy with Photoshop or other tools, those details are not something you change in a photo.
This is the second time I have been inspired by The Cunning Runt's photos. Click here for the previous watercolor sketch (of Mount Greylock), and here for his post and photo. Today's effort is more of a finished painting than the previous.