Michele Clamp Art


Memorial Church, Harvard Yard

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Memorial Church, Harvard Yard. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

Memorial Church, Harvard Yard
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I started this yesterday and was in two minds as to which way it would go. As it turned out it wasn’t a disaster but not a triumph either. I had quite a lot of trouble with the trees and in hindsight I should have cropped closer. Not a bad effort though.

A couple of intermediate shots :

Memorial Hall Sketch

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Memorial Hall, Harvard Yard, Michele Clamp.

So when you have a meeting unexpectedly cut short and it's a sunny day and you're walking across Harvard Yard - time for a sketch!

Harvard again...

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Terrible photo,  terrible painting.    I like the cupola but that's about it.

Dunster House - 30 in 30 day 1

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First chance to put the new

camera photos

to work.    Still a bit rusty but I was quite pleased with this.   

Memorial Hall - Harvard

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Boy oh boy was this hard.  I've been dreading doing this and have been putting it off.  On the plus side all my palettes are now perfectly clean and buffed.   Many things wrong here but I thought it was better to leave it than keep fiddling.

(Edit 1 : Ooooh those people are painful.  Sometimes waiting a couple of days  improves a painting but not in this case.)

(Edit 2: Ok - cropped to remove the people.  Couldn't take it any more)

The drawing - all is good.

 First washes - still good.  Optimism is high.

I'm still feeling good here.  In hindsight just doing the tower would have been a good idea.    I like the fading out in the shadows and just the suggestion of detail.

Working my way down.   Was getting a little bogged down here - the left hand roof is insipid and I'm putting off getting into those trees.

The end result.  The trees weren't so bad in the end but this was a real struggle to pull together.  I can see numerous things I'd like to change but they can wait.

This is the original photo.   When I was drawing this out I changed my first drawing to make the tower taller.   Comparing the two side by side I now see that this isn't the case.  However, it feels better with the taller tower and it's how I remember it from seeing it in real life.

Harvard Yard - number 2 in progress and finished

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First Church, Cambridge, MA from Harvard Yard

Finished.   Not a patch on the other one unfortunately.    I'm thinking about doing another with a much more muted palette.

So this is number two on my Harvard Yard series.   Not going too well so far.   It's getting very tight and I'm at the point where I start to panic and just splash paint about.  Never ends well.  Too dark to paint now so it will have to wait.

Memorial Church, Harvard Yard

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This is the first outing for my planned Harvard series.   Step-by-steps below.

Starting off with the light washes - mainly cobalt blue and quin gold.   Made (reasonably) sure to leave white highlights on the side of the tower and the corner knobbly bits.

Layer 2.   Strengthening up the shadows on the tower and putting more color into the foliage.  This is where I start to get nervous - I want to strengthen up the shadows without losing intensity.  The next layer is crucial.

Layer 3.  Have I mucked it up yet?   What I need to do now is add in some strong darks without losing freshness.   Those trees are worrying me too.  Fingers crossed.

The final thing.   Didn't go mad with the dark accents on the tower itself but strengthened up the windows a little.   Put in some foliage emphasizing the edge leaves and leaving the middle with less detail.

I'm going to leave it here.   Pretty happy.

Harvard University - Dillon Fieldhouse

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Dillon Fieldhouse

Okay we're done now.  The left hand tree is ok but I obviously should have considered the final composition before starting (duh!).  Also the photo emphasizes the slight inaccuracies in the drawing which aren't as apparent in the real, much larger, painting.  This is a shame as I spent a long time trying to avoid this.

But all in all I'm pleased.

Dillon Fieldhouse Watercolor

This isn't quite finished (and the photo is not straight  - will redo in the morning) but it is close.   I'm wondering whether to put another tree at the left hand side to balance things.

Intermediate stages shown below.

Dillon Fieldhouse sketch

The quick thumbnail working out the darks/lights and color choices.

Trying to apply lessons learned to a new subject.  Looking to have more unified colour,  better contrast and some clean verticals and horizontals in the building.

Dillon Fieldhouse Watercolor

I'm feeling pretty good about this.   Colour in the walls is good - alizarin and quin gold and have tried to vary the proportions by dropping in here and there.    Shadows are mostly put in with 1" flat which gives sharp lines and the colour (phthalo blue/burnt sienna) gives good tones when overlaid on the wall wash colour.  Windows are ultramarine/phthalo blue/burnt sienna put in with a 1/4" flat and color lifted off and dropped to to give variety.

Dillon Fieldhouse Watercolor

Getting closer.