Back Porch: #4

I’m a glutton for punishment.

I was curious to see what this painting would look like if I used packing tape as a frisket to paint the shadows and chair. So I repainted this chair on my back porch.

To start, I sketched the drawing, again being careful to measure perspective. I wanted a lot of sharp clean lines in this one, so I took a little more time on the sketch. I don’t normally paint tight like this, so this was a good exercise for me.

I then placed packing tape on the chair and post, and using a very sharp exacting knife, I carefully cut away the parts that I wanted to paint. It is painstaking to cut through the packing tape without cutting into the paper, and there is very little margin for error, but I took my time and it worked just fine.

Then, I masked the flowers, and laid down the preliminary washes. I wanted to experiment with big smooth washes, so I tried to be very careful to paint top down. First, I wetted the sky with C4b water, and then dipped in some T4w cerulean Blue to make the sky. I didn’t bring the blue all the way to the fence because I wanted to give the impression of clouds there. Then, I dabbed in some T2w cerulean with a touch of Raw Umber to add the trees. I added some dots of T4w Quin Gold, and let it dry. I wanted the trees to have very soft edges, to contrast with all the sharp edges elsewhere in the painting. I thought this, and using a very watered down wash, would force the sky to recede and give a sense of depth, which is a challenge with this painting because my yard is quite small.

I then painted the grass with Cerulean Blue and Quin Gold, and a bit of Raw Umber. I wanted to limit the palette a lot on this one to reduce the variables I was working with. I tried to make the grass warmer in the middle, and cooler in the foreground to play on the light a bit.

Then I let that dry, and painted the box. For this I used T4b Raw Umber and Quin Gold on the side that was hitting the light. I mixed in some Cerulean and more Raw Umber to get a purple-grey, and then painted the shadowed side of the box with T3b.

I then painted the cement. I wanted the box the blend with the cement so I would have another spot of lost edges there. So, I used the same purple grey, but added a touch of Quin Purple and Raw Umber. I then painted the cement, again in large washes, and pulled it up into the shadowed side of the box.

I then painted the fence with a wash of T4b Raw Umber, and let it dry. I used T3b Raw Umber and a rigger laying on its side to paint the texture on the fence.

Then, I overworked the flowers to death. Dammit.

Once that all dried, I used packing tape again to make a frisket around the shadows on the cement. It turned out that the painting wasn’t quite dry enough, and I got some wicking under the packing tape, so I pulled it off and used a bone-dry brush to soften that feathering. I think I got it in time.

I then cut away the shadowed side of the post, and wetted it with clean water. Into that wet paper, I painted a smooth wash of T4w Raw Umber.

At the top of the pole, I dabbed a drop of the Quin Purple-Grey color, and did the same at the bottom, pulling it into the shadow to blend the two a bit. This worked well.

I then removed all of the packing tape and masking fluid, and painted a more pronounced shadow at the top of the pole.

I used that same color to paint all of the shadowed planes of the chair the same color. Then, when it dried, I went back with that same grey, only a bit more cerulean Blue, and a F2b to paint the shadowed planes that were under the shadow cast by the roof.

I watered down that color and painted shadows of the flowers on the chair.

Then I used R2b orange to paint the petals of the flowers, and followed that with R2w Cad Yellow for the middle of the flower, letting that cad yellow spider into the petals.

Once that was done, some of the washes felt uneven, so I glazed all of the shadows in the foreground with some moon glow.

Then I was done.

And I swear I won’t paint this again.

The Good

These are the parts that worked.

The background being light in value with all soft edges does help create a sense of depth.

The texture on the fence turned out well.

The grass is good, very simple, but not totally understated and forgettable.

The value structure and tone on the box worked well.

The lost edges are really important because I have so many very crisp edges.

The packing tape frisket worked well, even though it took FOREVER.

The Bad

I overworked those flowers again.

I didn’t get good washes on the shadowed parts of the chair, so I had to come back with another wash to smooth it out.

The Ugly

The flowers are no bueno. I should have considered keeping them white.

The overall painting feels very amateurish to me. I think it might be because the majority of the painting is tight, but the flowers are loose. I probably could have played that up some more by using larger, flatter washes on the flowers.

Fin.

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