In The Studio: “Avon Pier 2”

Demonstration Painting from a photograph of a fishing pier in Avon North Carolina.  I find the shapes very fun to overlap which creates interesting relationships at all points of intersection.   I use an HB pencil on Arches rough paper and work at getting a nice continuous line to interpret the shapes.  None of the details of any piece of the subject is as important as the overall movement through the drawing of the line with leaving very few uninteresting connection points.  Follow along let me know what you think


Here is the drawing, notice the continuous line and how I have played with the angles and spacing between the lines.  At this point I really want to get started with the painting,  I find the drawing expressive and interesting.

I begin to add mixtures of cobalt violet, and cerulean blue at the top right corner adding burnt sienna and alizarin crimson as I move through the middle of the shape.  The passages of paint at this point are being applied in a very blocky fashion to indicate buildings and pilings and I am really trying to cut around the white paper, preserving the light filled roof tops and the top outline of the boat.  As I move to the left back building I am back to cobalt violet but now I am adding cobalt blue to make some darker pieces.  The trees in the background are a combination of hanza yellow and Olive green with just a little burnt sienna mixed with alizarin to add some warm red tones.

Now I begin working in some warm darks inside the boat using the burnt sienna alizarin crimson mix, again really keeping the feeling of the white passages working.  I darken under the dock with some olive green mixed with ultramarine blue I am just trying to cool the passages a little the water under the boat is cobalt blue and olive green.  When you get to this point you should step back from the painting and really see the colorful middle values highlighting a very interesting white shape.  Remember the white paper is important and you should with practice be able to preserve the whites by cutting around them and not using a resist.

At this point I am using a flat brush and putting in selective dark accents.  I am using darker versions of the colors I have been using up to this point.  No new colors.  Work slowly at this stage and don’t lose your focus.  Many good starts have been ruined by the absent minded application of darks.

I now really working on livening up the painting with selective darks and a few well placed scrapes inside the darks to emphasize the feeling of depth and light.  Stay within yourself here and watch how many times you use the same color and mark variety will always entertain the viewer more that the over repeating of a color, shape or mark.  I start looking for areas to add some line like the side of the boat, the name on the back and on the side of the right building.

I keep adding in needed darks and really focus on selective areas where calligraphy lines will really dress up some boring areas, again my approach is to not be too repetitious.  I vary the types, direction, and color or the lines, all the while resisting the urge to go absolutely crazy with an abundance of non essential details and filler.  Now the white passage is still preserved but the line and details help move the viewer along through the painting.  By the way I was using a Scripts liner brush from the Silver Brush Company Black Velvet Line to make the details and lines.  They make some really nice inexpensive alternatives to the really expensive sable brushes.  Give them a try.  I have no stake in the company I just like the brushes.

I hope  enjoyed this demo their will be more to follow.  Steve

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  • mercedesAugust 27, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    I like very much this demo. Have you any video to watch how you getting a continuous line drawing to interpret the shapes? I would like see one to learn to do it. Thankyou for your charity. Mercedes. Please answer to my email.ReplyCancel

    • SteveAugust 28, 2013 - 8:41 pm

      Mercedes, let me work on the continuous line idea it sounds like a good idea. I will be traveling for a few weeks so I can’t get to it at the moment. SteveReplyCancel