Monday, March 13, 2017

Parking Lot Before the Storm

We're at the supermarket early, hoping to beat the crowds before the big snowstorm arrives late tonight. While Jeanette is shopping, I stay in the car and amuse myself with my watercolors.

It's too cold outside to paint, so I sit in the driver's seat and try to capture the view in front of me. I like the low morning light, which casts long shadows. (Link to video on Facebook)

After laying down some basic perspective lines, I start with the car in front of me and work my way out from there. Once I commit to painting a given car, I try to finish it directly, because I know it may not be there long.

Technical notes (with links to Amazon):
• I'm using transparent watercolor from a Schmincke watercolor set for 95% of this painting.
Water-soluble colored pencils and a few touches of white gouache at the beginning and the end. 
• For the soundtrack of the video, I place the digital sound recorder next to the shopping cart return.


Steve said...

Great little painting -- and by "little" we must be talking about 2.5 by 7.5 inches. Wonderful sense of space and light. The trio of faces above seems very interested in it as well. The title, Big Storm Coming On, could be interpreted as the pending consequences of so many cars, so many parking lots. It's inspirational how much you accomplish in restricted conditions; tiny space, limited time. Hope Jeanette's hunting and gathering resulted in enough to weather the storm.

Jared Cullum said...

Hope she got bread, milk and water! I hear things are going to be rough up there. ;) This is gorgeous.

Bug said...

If I hadn't been reading your blog for so long, I'd have doubts that you actually did this picture at the specified size in the time allotted. As it is, I'm astonished.

Daroo said...

This is great. I like how you mentally broke down this complicated scene. Your pencil lines were designed to maximize speed without bogging down the process or compromising accuracy. You then established some of the major cars in the mid ground which let you see how much detail was needed for the distant cars to read but still sit back in the distance. Your brush strokes describe detail in a lively gestural way but maintain the scale at this extremely small size. Choosing what you need to compare and measure and when to do it is a discipline unto itself. Well done.

James Gurney said...

Daroo, that's a perceptive analysis, and I think you put into words a lot of thoughts that were unconscious.

Bug and Steve, yes, it's small, but an ideal size for me because the book fits open into my lap. I've also used the smaller Moleskine or Pentalic watercolor books, and then they get REALLY small. I'm always surprised how many of the old time artists like Menzel sketched really small.

Jared, The snow is here now, and we're snug at home, and I'm looking forward to do some paintings of it—plus some snowshoeing.