Abstract architecture 3

Abstract building 3

Here is the latest pen and ink. While it was raining yesterday, I penciled this and then let it set for a while to regain a little objectivity. After a few minor adjustments, I went ahead and inked it in. I usually like to let something set overnight to freshen my view, but I didn’t this time.  I threw caution to the winds and inked away.  I plan to go a little bit bolder  with the colors this time and see what happens.  The past two have been more on the pastelly side and I want to try something more vivid.  I have let myself forget that the circular file is always an option and not to be feared.

Abstract streetscape 2 – colored in

Here is my second stab at a semi abstract streetscape. I used the same basic color palette and size so that the two could hang or be sold together if I so decided.  I once again used one of my main street reference photos and made a few  minor adjustments.  

Colored streetscape

I kind of like the red striped awning on the right side.  I tried to carry some of the red over into the left side onto the buildings to help balance it.  I am also a little pleased with the sky.I think the recessed doorways came out well.  I didn’t want to make them too dark and just keep it lightly suggested.

Abstract building 2

I worked on another abstract building this week, once again mixing and matching a bit from my streetscape reference photos.  This particular small town Main Street has been quite a source of inspiration to me.  I am rather enjoying not having to be quite so exact in the layout, suggesting some of the detail rather than trying to get it all in.  I would like to take a road trip or two this summer to some small southern Indiana towns and take some more reference photos if I can.  Any suggestions of colorful main streets would be appreciated.

Abstract building 2 pen and ink

I will use the same color palette as in the previous painting although I think I will tone down the yellow a bit as it is quite lemony.  Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but the photos of the previous drawing came out a little warmer that the real thing and I like it slightly better.  And I think that the building on the left needs a little something.  It seems too plain next to the others.  Not necessarily much though.  I have to balance the positive and negative space you know.

Abstract architectural color.

Well, I got out the watercolors and decided to be a little bold. The first thing I did was splash on the yellow so there would be no going back. I then put on the green of the trees and moved back to the buildings.   I layered on some brick-red and then decided to paint on some purple for the shadows and liked it so much, I went ahead and splashed  more onto the buildings.  I am not sure if I am done with it yet but it is a good start  and I am pleased with it.  I am thinking about defining the black of the buildings a bit.  I don’t quite like the positive/negative aspect of it yet, but that is part of the experiment, is it not?

Abstract colors for the achitectural drawing

Illustration style building

I was rather intrigued with the last drawing, having not done something in that style before. I got to thinking after I did the little bit of color on it, that this might lend itself to a little experimentation.  I took some of my streetscape pictures and cobbled together this effort.  Cindy (http://www.theslumberingherd.com/) suggested trying some more wildly colored builings and I though this would be perfect for it.

Before the colorI plan to add splashes of red and yellow for the building and then see where it takes me.  Maybe a little purple will liven things up.  the nice thing is that the time involved here is a lot less than with the detailed work.  This is rather small at about 8″x8″ and I wasn’t overly careful about exact dimensions so the pencil up and the inking went rather quickly.  Once I actually get the courage to throw the paint on we’ll see what happens.

I do think it is something that I want to paint all at one time to keep a creative flow going so I’ll wait to wait until the next sitting to start.  The good thing is that I should be able to do it all at once.

A touch of color

The wildlife seems to have hidden itself away since the burst of activity last Monday. Except for the ubiquitous squirrels and the occasional hawk, it has been rather quiet. So I am back to the artwork.

As you can see, I went ahead and added a little bit of color to the streetscape. I think it will emphasize her business as a dog walker. I think it makes you think of taking a pet out of his enclosed home and letting him enjoy a walk among the trees.  I briefly debated coloring the flower boxes but decided that was going down a slippery slope.  A little color here, a little color there and suddenly I might as well do the whole thing.  For its purpose, I think less will be more.

Tom the Turkey looking for fun

I expected to post my updated photo of the colored architectural commission this morning, but had an unexpected change in plans.  I woke up to the sounds of turkey gobbles and because I had wanted to get  photos of a displaying tom if I could,  I got up and went to the window.  There, I saw a hen staggering out on the back lawn with drooping wings and a disjointed gait.  For a brief period of time, I thought she was injured, but then she got up and walked fairly normally in a small circle.  The tom was not visible at first, but then he paraded out of the woods, fully displayed, and silently headed to the hen. 

Two turkeysAs I watched and took photos, they promenaded around each other, stomping their feet in a wonderful dance.  He attempted to circle her and each time she lay herself down in the grass, he attempted to approach her.  She only let him get so close before  getting up and moving away.  They meandered around the lawn for 15 minutes or so before she headed into the woods and down into the ravine.  He followed her to the edge, still displaying, while she remained down in the ravine.  After another five minutes or so, he too headed into the woods and out of my sight.

Turkeys 2


And to top it off, there was also a doe standing on the edge of the woods for a brief period of time.  She curiously watched the hen out in the yard for the longest time.  When the tom came out of the woods, she turned her attention to him briefly, but it suddenly appeared to get all too much for her and she disappeared back into the wood. 


Doe and tomI did get a picture of her and the tom in the same shot.  It’s way too blurry, but you can make her out with him on the edge of the woods.  And there was a great blue heron in the shallow end of the pond.  What a way to start the day.



Mr. Turtle has returned

I am still working on the streetscape commission. She decided, after testing my slightly askew digital image on her website, that perhaps a little color was needed. So I retrieved the board from the photographer, fortunately before he had taken the professional shot and am going to add some simple watercolors to the trees and the trunks. I think I will go ahead and color girl and her dog too. It is to be a dog walking business website so it would be nice to make them stand out.

Mr. TurtleIn the meantime, I was working in the yard last week and I came upon Mr. Turtle crossing the gravel part of the drive, heading towards the flower beds in the front of the house.  He was walking relatively quickly, pausing only briefly when I came up on him.  Perhaps he remembered me from last year because he stayed out of his shell, peering cautiously at me, then trundling away as I moved aside.  He had moved all of the way into the beds while I went and got my camera and hidden himself in the luxurious growth of the vinca.  I don’t know where he spent the winter, but I was glad to see him again, a little bit bigger and a little bit faster than before.  I look forward to seeing him soon.


In spite of the almost summer like weather we have been having, I worked to finish the streetscape the last few days.  I haven’t done anything quite in this style before, but I like the way it has worked out and I hope she does too.  I have two small details to go over with her because the pictures were unclear, but it is otherwise done.

streetscape inked

I xeroxed the inking and added a little bit of color to the girl to make her stand out a little from all of the buildings.  I am kind of up in the air about the effect.  I do kind of like it but it may not be as necessary as it seemed when it occurred to me while trying to sleep one night.  I know it’s kind of hard to see in this scale but the figure pops a bit and as a feature on her dog walking blog site, it might be a good idea.

Girl in red