The Boise depot

Depot pencil drawing

First layers of paint

After the success of the previous pond paintings, I thought the Boise Depot itself should finally have a feature.  I was not happy with the first achitecturals I did a couple of years ago, but I thought now it was time to try again, but with a slightly different emphasis.

As a compromise to my feelings of inadequacy in painting buildings with acrylics, I wanted to make the building recognizable, but not the main focus. One reference photo seemed to fit the bill.  While the main tower grabs the eye first, its reflection in the pond lets your eye move around to the water and surrounding vegetation.  I was not so intimidated with the building in the background and  I was feeling good about how the previous pond pictures had gone, so this seemed to be a good next step.  I was happy with how things gad progressed to this intermediate step.

Reed painting finished

Reeds in the lily pond

The reed painting is finally finished.  I must have sat and fiddled with it half a dozen times after I thought I might be done.  And I’m still not super happy with with it.  I kept playing with the shore line behind the reeds more than anything else.  I still think there is not enough definition, but I may just let it sit for a month and look at it later.

Others have said they like it, even thought I am not overly thrilled, so it must have some qualities.  (Mom said she’d take it today LOL)

Pond reed painting

Pencil up with the ground layer

Two sessions in

I thought I might be done with the pond paintings, but my husband commented in passing that he liked the reed reference photo. I said, what the heck, and decided to try another.

I was feeling pretty good about the three I had done so far, but this vegetation was quite different than the lily pads, even if the color palette was close to the same.  As I worked along, I tried to remember to keep it loose and define the shapes with dabs of color rather than sharp lines.  The preliminary work was okay, but I knew I needed more depth.

Pond Painting

Pond Painting

This last month I was inspired watching the British tv show “Landscape Artist of the Year” and decided to try something plein air myself.  It’s technically  not quite plein art as I am sitting inside behind my studio doors and painting through the glass, but it is a real landscape not a photo.  I just prefer to think of myself as well climatized.  LOL

This is about 90% finished after 3 sessions.  I like it well enough, but am not quite happy with the water yet.  I need to let it sit and percolate before I work on it again.  I think the water should be a bit more horizontal looking and something slightly more defined in the foreground.

After doing this, I am utterly in awe of some of the work I saw done in just four hours for the tv show.  It’s on Ovation tv and if you get the chance to see any of the episodes, it is well worth watching.  There is also a “Portrait Artist of the Year” and I find those episodes equally amazing.  I can’t work that fast, ever.  Or that well.