Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Italian Flower Shop

I spotted this flower shop in a narrow alley in Lucca, Italy on Google Street View. I wasn't sure I could pull off a painting of it, since the alley was largely shadowed by the surrounding buildings. Poor light is the greatest challenge on Street View, but slowly I am learning to make light where there isn't enough. Oooo, the power, hehe. Anyway, it was a valuable lesson for the day.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ornate Door

I've been trying to push myself to loosen up with my watercolors, but I spotted this ornate doorway in Siena, Italy, and knew I had to paint it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Siena Shoppers

This small painting was done in my sketchbook today to challenge myself to paint with a large (#14) round brush. I had the wonderfully good fortune to have taken a workshop from the late Irving Shapiro, whose favorite brush was a 1" flat, and that is what I have painted with, for the most part, ever since. Watercolor needs to do its own thing and I found the round brush helped me to allow that to happen. Great fun!

Friday, January 18, 2013

To the Sea

Other than the paved road in this scene on the Isle of Man, the landscape probably hasn't changed much for hundreds of years. The road leads to the Irish Sea from Cregneash Village, a living museum consisting of thatched cottages and houses, where farms continue to be worked via horsepower and livestock freely roam the 300 acres. According to the Isle of Man Guide, life continues as it has for hundreds of years with the old crafts and trades from earlier times used in the everyday life of the villagers.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Island Palm Tree

While the Isle of Man is an island, it is not tropical, with an average temperature of 49 degrees, so I was surprised to spot this palm tree.

Monday, January 7, 2013

St. Runius Church

On the Isle of Man is an ancient Celtic church, originally built in 1200 AD and rebuilt around 1860, surrounded by what appears to be hundreds of ancient gravestones. It's an amazing sight to see, even virtually.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rock Outbuilding with Sheep

I've begun the new year with a cold, ugh!, but waiting another day to feel better before breaking out my paintbrushes wasn't something I wanted to do. Not unexpectedly, I didn't paint a masterpiece today but I did learn something from it. The Google Street View photo was dark, with a limited tonal and color range, but I was really interested in the old rock building. Unfortunately, the painting was pretty flat when I finished. I went back into it with an ink pen and picked out some detail here and there which gives it a little more interest and saved it from the total crap file. Some days that's all you can ask for. ;)