A New Canal Painting

Canal (no title yet!), 20 x 16, pastel premiere

Canal (no title yet!), 20 x 16, pastel premiere

Watercolor underpainting

Watercolor underpainting

Monday was Labor Day and I took advantage of the holiday to drive to Georgetown first thing in the morning. It’s much easier to drive there and park on holidays. It was a lovely sunny day and I was looking forward to getting summer pictures of the canal.  But when I got there, I saw a lot of greenery but no water!  I remembered reading something about them draining the canal ….  Oh well!  I decided to do my walk anyway and found that it was quite interesting. There were some areas with a little water and the light was shining on it.  I took a number of pictures and today spent a rainy day in the studio painting.

I chose a 16 x 20 mounted white Pastel Premiere board and it was just right for the painting.  I used watercolor, as advised by the maker.  I found that the board was resisting the watercolor quite a bit and had to use a lot of water with it.  But it finally took and was god enough to give me the basic shapes.

I chose this photo because of the dark and light patterns and the rather zig-zag shape of dark.  I also loved the light on the stone wall and the warm colors of the greens in the “canal”.  I made one important change to the composition, lowering the lamp so that it is against the dark wall and not against the window, where it was in the photo.

For the painting, I used mainly Ludwigs and Giraults.  I stuck to the colors I saw, pretty much and didn’t try to impose a limited palette on it. But it’s pretty much reds and greens, and I added dark reds into the bridge, shadowed building and the wall below.  I wasn’t sure whether I was going to add the fire escape in front of the left window, but it stood out too much, so I added it and some cast shadows and thought it made an interesting touch.

Yesterday I painted another western scene, an 18 x 24, that was just OK. Nothing much of interest to it. So I’m going to wash it off.  I was happy to do a painting with a lot more detail and interest.

And if any of you have an idea for a good title, let me know!

Thursday: I came up with the title Light Play, Georgetown. Very happy with that. Decided to leave the mention of the canal out since it now looks more like a ditch!

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