Thanks, everybody for your interesting comments about the recent post “Moving Out.” It was a little experiment in form, combining a plein air study with fictional story. Sometimes I paint a house and think of it as a stage where a million private dramas are played out.
Tom, as far as the technical details, it’s in a Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, so it’s about 5 x 7.5 inches. I started with a pencil drawing and laid in an ochre undertone for the sky. I was going to going to come back with a blue wash, but forgot to, and liked it better warm.
I laid some color down over the whole surface of the paper, saving out the shining tarp and the little bit of snow by the fence, which were the lightest notes. In some of the early passes, I floated the dark tones for the windows onto wet paper to let them bleed into the surrounding tone.
Even after the first pass, the house needed to be “dirtied up” to look old. The truck was an ultramarine blue underwash with a semi-opaque light red laid over. The tree branches are mostly drybrushed, with branches added in pencil. Mario, some of the fine lines (clapboards and wires) are drawn in with a Caran d’Ache colored pencils.
The whole sketch took about an hour and a half. In the composite at the top of this post, I stuck a photo of the subject at the right so you can see how the camera saw things. The far semi tractor-trailer in the photo was in motion during the photo. And the pickup really did leave halfway through, so I had to rely on memory to finish it up. I did all the work on location; I almost never work on a study after returning home because I feel unplugged from the inspiration.