I spent more time with my glass of water, trying to improve the drawing, edges, and lighting. I think it’s better, but I will step away from it for a few days to think on it. I’m certainly getting good practice with foreshortened drawing!
It was a beautiful day out, but I still felt like painting glass and water, so I stayed inside and set up yet another little still life. I spent only an hour on this, but I think it’s an interesting start. The drawing needs a bit of work, but I like the light.
I made some progress, but this challenging scene still needs work. I’m going to put it aside and come back with fresh eyes next week. If the weather is nice tomorrow, I think I’ll go outside to paint!
It sure is fun painting all these shiny surfaces! I’ve finished a “first draft” of this little still life, and I like what I have here, but I might like to take it further. I’ll let it dry for a few days while I think on it. I have some fun ideas for a new still life tomorrow. (Incidentally, I llightly Photoshopped the background of this image to eliminate glare.)
It occurred to me that this object is really more a pitcher than a “pot,” as I wrote last time. Anyway, I continued with the picture, this time focusing on one of the glasses behind the pitcher. I had only about an hour to paint, but I made decent progress. On to the other glass tomorrow.
I posted some compositional sketches for this little pot last week, and today I finally got around to painting it. It’s a challenging subject, so I’m not close to finishing, especially as I haven’t even begun painting the two glasses in the background. But it’s a good start. Here’s a look at just the pot:
And here’s the whole picture, with placeholders for the two glasses behind the pot.
I painted this exact scene two years ago, but I did not look at that painting again before stepping up to the easel and trying again. I didn’t want to be influenced by the earlier picture. One thing that changed was my canvas: I chose a wide surface this time. Another difference is that this time I painted it all in one go, in about two hours; last time I worked on the painting for three full afternoons! So the “old” one is somewhat more detailed and refined, but the “new” one has its merits too. Here’s today’s effort:
And here’s the painting from two years ago. I blogged about it, briefly, here: https://www.geoffwatsonart.com/blog/2017/8/2/boat-on-the-rehoboth-lewes-canal?rq=Lewes
I spent more time working on the flower pots at the pool, this time adding … flowers. And water to the pool.
A great watercolorist, Charles Reid, enjoyed painting still lifes that captured what people left lying around, rather than still lifes carefully composed by the artist. He suggests just pointing your brush at stuff and painting it. So I did that today. I painted my brush at stuff lying on the kitchen table.
I painted this view of the Potomac from Swains Lock campground. A couple of nearby campers took an interest in what I was doing, and they seemed to like it, even though I was hogging a good campsite for a couple hours! I was especially interested in the strange little tree that seemed to be growing in the middle of the river.
Also, I found some relatively inexpensive linen panels, so I’ll be using those a lot over the next few weeks. I think I paint better on linen, but it’s ordinarily prohibitively expensive, so I’m excited about the switch.
I returned to Great Falls National Park to paint the old tavern there, but I didn’t like how it was going, so I wiped it out and chose a new subject — the Washington Aqueduct. More specifically, the dam for the aqueduct, just upstream of Great Falls. I like how the water is still and clear on one side of the dam and agitated on the other.
It was a lovely afternoon to paint — until a squall unleashed a torrent of rain. Still, it made for a nice wet street to paint. I went for a semi-abstract vibe.
I paid another visit to the Potomac River today. It was a partly cloudy, sultry sort of day, but it was still beautiful. A boater rowed right in front of me, and he asked if he could be in my painting. I am happy I was able to accommodate him!
it was too hot to paint outside today, but I tried anyway. (What's up with the 90-degree heat and high humidity in late September?) I got a bit overheated, and I had some trouble concentrating, but the painting turned out well enough. Several of these paddle-boarders meandered by, but I never got a good look at the boats/boards they pilot. I did my best. As I was packing up, I was treated to a glorious red sunset!
I found a shady spot by the Potomac River, near Swains lock in Maryland, and painted reflections from the far woods. I had on plenty of bug spray, but even so I was assaulted by a combined-arms force of stink bugs. Airborn bugs dive-bombed me while infantry bugs marched across my painting. Nonetheless, I managed to escape with a credible picture of the scene.
It was a glorious day of 70-degree sunshine, and I spent the afternoon at Swain's campsite, a free campground adjoining Swain's Lock on the C&O Canal in Potomac, Maryland. I found an open campsite, and it had this lovely view, framed by trees, just as I painted it. It was one of those plein air paintings in which I didnt really have to change much to make the composition work. The atmosphere was quite jolly, as campers and day-hikers strolled around the river-side, taking in the view. The lock itself would be fun to paint, as would the canal, so I'll be revisiting this wonderful park.
Pennyfield Lock is Lock 22 on the C&O Canal in Maryland. Pennyfield's Inn stands guard over the lock, and the inn still operates today. You can rent it for a night or two from the National Park Service, as long as you don't mind having no electricity or running water. As it happens, two nice travelers named Steve and Jennel were staying there while I was painting the house, and I added them to the picture; they're hanging out at the fence. They liked the painting and bought it from me off the easel.
Today is my birthday, and it was a glorious day of warm sunshine here in the D.C. area. I celebrated by spending the day painting a bend in the Potomac River.
Plein air painters love The Great Falls National Park, and for good reason: there's no shortage of interesting subjects. I visited the Maryland side of the park today and started this painting. This old tavern stands guard by a lock on the venerable C&O Canal. The picture needs work; the only question is when I'll revisit the park. maybe later this week.