Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dawn Patrol

The Truth, in Black-and-White

A month ago today, 24 June, was our first day of the French Workshop. We assembled at the Moulin d'Angibault, and six of us had a go at the mill building.

In my case, since I'd painted and drawn it before, I was less concerned about making a painting of exactly what I saw. In fact the mill wheel was one of the first things to go. Making acceptable ellipses, while combating jet lag, is not to be expected.

Anyway, I made my version of the mill building, making changes as I went and suiting myself. I brought home this panel (16x20", 40x50cm).

It sure ain't much of a treasure, but I confess my focus wasn't too good that day.
Subsequently, I've played with the idea of making it a dawn painting or, at least, very early morning.

Here's where it stood this afternoon.

As you can see, it's not very subtle so far. I really have no idea where it's headed. But it does look to me as if the ell nearest us is turned a bit too much to its right, a fault in the perspective of the main part of the house.

This sort of thing is always hard for me to see, especially when the painting is full of distracting color. 

Thus the point of this post: 

If you think there's a drawing issue in your painting, or even if you're just uneasy about it for some reason, take a black-and-white photo. Often, once the color is not there to confuse you, you will immediately see the problem. 

Here's this painting in black-and-white.

Now, maybe, I can find the solution.

Of course this version immediately says to me, "Make me moonlight!"

We'll have to see.


  1. "Make me moonlight!" You make me laugh!

    1. If I can make someone laugh in the Texas summer, I've done my job.

  2. They are both really useful tips - convert to grayscale and don't be a slave to "reality".
    I felt that I'd rather not have really big/closeups of buildings and that I wish I'd backed off more on all "architectural" subjects. Playing with the mood is a good solution tho'!

    1. It's really just my old hobbyhorse: the difference between "of" and "about".

  3. Did you find what was bothering you perspectively? I'm thinking that making the roof line of the main house more horizontal, at eye level might help. On the the other hand, could make the whole thing more static. I like what you have. This buildings are a bit off kilter sometimes, aren't they?

  4. You could always make it into a Cotswold cottage...I am ready to scrap my version, or convert it into somewhere else. I understand what Jon is saying, as I had almost the same view position as you had, I wish I had the building set back more, into more landscape. Maybe I'll try it and see. Thanks for the tips.