Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yuletide Carolers

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my blog readers! The following is the steps I took to create the final painting "Yuletide Carolers". I have not done a full scale painting in a while, so this was a bit of a challenge. I wanted to create an image of our church with some Dickens style carolers at the front door. The feeling I was going for was a warm inviting feeling, even though it is cold and blustery out. The painting will have a cool dominance to enforce the feeling of cold. The warms were placed at the center of interest. With that said, here we go...

These were some of the initial sketches with 3 values applied. The value patterns show an overall mid with the lightest value at the center of interest and the darks creating the contrast at the center of interest. I was concentrating on creating interesting shapes and not "things".

I then created a more refined sketch. This helps me to get a better understanding of the shapes. I added some marker to some of the shadow areas. I try to keep thinking of shapes and not things.

I created some small (6"x8") initial color studies. These also helped me to loosen up a bit before I dove in.

I sketched the shapes in pencil on my watercolor paper, soaked the sheet with a sponge and applied the first loose washes of the mid values. I made sure that I did not paint the white or light areas.

After letting this wash dry, I was looking at the composition, and decided that I was not happy with it. The shape that bothered me the most was the large shape of the church split the paper exactly in half. I should have caught this at the sketch stage. Since this painting was to be used for our family Christmas card, I was pressed for time. I try to start the work on these holiday paintings early, but unfortunately this was a busy year and the time slipped by quickly. So I created another sketch that resolved the problems. I shifted the view which helped to create shadow shapes which I could use around the light value shapes. The church shape was set more to one side.

I created a more refined sketch to work on the composition a bit.

Here is the value pattern I will go with.

I roughed the shapes in pencil on my watercolor paper, soaked the entire sheet and applied the first loose mid washes.

I then added some dark shapes, using my value sketch as a guide.

Define more mid value and dark value shapes.

Reinforcing values and refining shapes.

More shape refining and a signature.


Betty said...

Thank you for showing the process. This is a beautiful work!

Bonny said...

What a fabulous tutorial! I learned a lot just from reading your post and the accompaning photos are really great! Thank you.

Have a Merry Christmas, too. See you in the New Year!

Sandy said...

Fabulous demonstrations, I always learn from these - thank you for posting !!

Sherry said...

I very much enjoyed your lucid explanation of how you painted your church. Which the end result is lovely, what really interested me was the initial work you did to get to that end. Merry Christmas!

Wendy said...

Fantastic. I love this composition - so much more interesting than your earlier one.

Silver Vista Studios said...

This is just beautiful. It has a Norman Rockwell feel to. You are very talented. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece..


Terry Banderas said...

Liked seeing how you developed your painting. Good to see how others do it. Your banner is very striking. The colors are remarkable and the banner definitly pops out.

Anita Davies said...

Amazing painting and such a great process post, thanks for sharing.


Nice work.

Ammon said...

The outcome is great. Thanks for sharing your process. I like the sketches almost as much as the finished pice.