Monday, March 16, 2015

Glisan's Painted Ladies, NW Portland

I drive by these painted ladies several times a week, always thinking I should give them a go.  The complicated details and the colors were a challenge for me to do loosely and not too "architectural."   I wanted them to look like a watercolor, not a building drawing.


I stationed myself across the street.  I started with guidelines in pencil, and let go of a
two point perspective and let it be as if all the buildings were eye level as they go back.
If you enlarge the drawing you can see that I drew quite a few guidelines before
I began inking.  I was concerned primarily with giving a place for the details of the
houses to sit, and this lack of paying attention got me into a bit of trouble, below.  

I admit I assumed that all the houses were the same except in color.  A LESSON IN LOOKING.  They are of two flipped designs, which I saw clearly as I began drawing details but too late.  

Another surprise which I caught while drawing the details was the bannister posts.  Due to the sun and shadows at first they appeared to be turned posts, which I noted.  However, as I was drawing the first corners with the columns behind the angled bannister, I noticed that the posts may have been replaced, as they were not turned.  Then as I went a bit further I noticed they appeared board-flat on all the corners.  I walked over to look closely.  What appeared turned posts from afar were actually posts cut on one side only to give the illusion of turned posts, below -- a cost-saving measure, I am sure.


I mostly inked on site, then added watercolor in the studio.  I had to mix many colors.  I've been asked about adding watercolors to a good drawing and "ruining" it -- but this is my interest.  I can draw in several styles, and from any perspective: worm's eye, bird's eye, exploding axonometrics, you name it!  I was the go-to girl in the office for complicated inked drawings!  However, I am interested in learning watercolors, and so I do "ruin" the occasional drawing.  This one is a bit blotchy, and as I am finding styles and trying not to paint like a coloring book.  I choose when to let white paper show, and in both of these cases I was not always spot on.  I have learned not to try to go back in and correct -- I'll do this again sometime soon!  I am mostly happy with the outcome.

Drawn in an Strathmore Mixed Media journal with Pentalic HB woodless pencil, Platinum Carbon pens and Daniel Smith, Holbein and Sennelier watercolors.
 



3 comments:

  1. I've thought about sketching those houses lots of times but never attempted. Now, when I do, I'll keep in mind all those discoveries you made. You've clearly shown that drawing something reveals a lot of unnoticed details. This is an interesting post and a good capture of that well-known block.

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  2. I go by there all the time too! That is beautiful. I hope to meet you sometime and see your sketches in person.

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  3. Thanks Vicky and Andrea -- I want to give it a go again!

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