Monday, December 29, 2014


In my previous post I showed you the value sketch for the painting of St. Mark's Plaza in Venice.  I painted it this morning and it was just yucky!  There wasn't enough going on.  There weren't enough interruptions in the straight line of the bottom of the building, and my brush strokes got too careful and slow.  What to do, what to do?

I remembered all the little cafes around the plaza, and of course, the crowded square.  I decided that some umbrellas would echo the domes and by placing them where I did they also repeated the oblique line of the shadow coming from the bell tower.  I kept the sky quiet, and the large shadow area is also without texture.  That way the "action" stays in the focal area of the buildings and with the people sitting having their espressos.

I think the rapidity of my strokes helped to keep the shapes simple and not too overstated.  In my first attempt, I used flat brushes which lead me to define the edges too carefully. I switched to a big mop brush in the second painting which caused me to be looser. 

The lesson of the day was to speed up my painting process and keep the details to a minimum. 

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