French Villages – Day 5

(Edit: Now for sale. This one has grown and grown on me over the months which is always a good sign)

I say this every day with this series but ‘I wasn’t looking forward to this one’.   However (with the usual caveat of maybe I’ll go off it in a couple of days) I really felt like I’m getting somewhere finally.  The colors are great,  the execution is confident without being sloppy, and there are some good touches here and there.   A good days work for once.

For subject matter I’m just picking photos from at random in these practice pieces and pulling them out in the order I found them.   The original photo was a bit bland,  lots of blank walls but with some nice shadows here and there.   Here’s the original :

Not my first choice really but it’s what was on the docket.

Started with a value sketch :

Getting the values of the shadows on the buildings was important.   If you look in the corner on the ground on the right hand side of the main building you can see that even though all is in shadow you need slightly different values to make things read correctly.

Onto the drawing :

This is done in a different style to the value sketch.  It’s line only and I’m concentrating on making good shapes.  Note how the windows on the right hand side especially are quite loosely drawn but with very specific shapes.   As I’ve mentioned before you can pull windows about quite a lot and they’ll still read as windows.

So I’m happy so far.  Now onto the first washes :

I should mention at this point that I usually paint sitting down at an easel.   I changed for this as my washes were falling down the paper too fast.   I painted this standing up with the board at a slight angle.   Felt a lot better and I’ll probably carry on.

Anyway – still happy here.   Washes look good and there’s some extra color in the walls for interest.

Now onto some darks :

This is where it usually unravels.   I have a tendency to go too dark in places where darks shouldn’t be and I’m trying hard to pull back.   A bit worried at this point.  That middle building in shade is too yellow so my plan is to glaze over it later.   Fingers crossed it all reads well in the end.  On the plus side the window in shade with the shutters came out really well.  

Onwards – trees and the rest of the darks next :

Almost done here.  The trees went in pretty well.  Didn’t fuss around with them although the right hand side one could probably be a little lighter in value (grrr).   The glazing of the yellow building went well and fits in with everything else.   Quietly confident at this point.

And now the final thing :

Not too much has changed here.   More interest in the walls and a little tidying up here and there.    The big change is the addition of an additional shadow.   I felt the walls were looking too bard so invented a mid size shadow to break it up.   I think it works.

So pretty happy with this.   Long may it continue.