Daily painting #32 (football field); and a collage.

I have two things to share today. FIrst, the daily painting adventure continues into June! Today I visited Walt Whitman High School and painted its football field, which was about to be used for practice by a soccer team. A very fun subject to paint!

Geoff Watson, “Before practice,” June daily painting #1, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Before practice,” June daily painting #1, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Second, I used Photoshop to put together a collage of all 31 of my daily paintings for May! Enjoy.

Geoff Watson, “Collage of all 31 May daily paintings,” oil on small panels, 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Collage of all 31 May daily paintings,” oil on small panels, 2019.

Daily painting #28: Cordell Avenue

I spent the afternoon painting this pleasant view of Cordell Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland. Cityscapes are, for me, the most challenging form of plein air painting. First, you’ve got to get your perspective right. Second, it’s a drawing challenge: there are lots of machine-tooled, symmetrical objects with sharp edges and perfect corners (buildings, cars, windows), and it takes lots of concentration to draw them correctly. Third, composition is a challenge: how do you pick a focal point when there are so many interesting things to see? Fourth, there’s a ton of detail, and even if you omit 80% of it, there’s still a ton of detail. But the upside is that it’s never boring, and I never lack for company — well-wishers stop by my easel all day long.

Geoff Watson, “Cordell Avenue (study),” May daily painting #28, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Cordell Avenue (study),” May daily painting #28, oil on panel, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Friendship Heights Metro

The rain held off today, and I managed to get in 2-3 hours of plein air painting. I'm really out of practice, as I've been doing mostly pen-and-ink and watercolor work for the past month, since I can do those things indoors (away from all the rain!).  So I set my expectations low and resolved to do a loose urban sketch.

The painting depicts the Friendship Heights metro stop on the DC-Maryland border. I was most interested in the area on the left, and I should've zoomed the picture in more on that; I didn't spend much time at all on the right half of the painting.  I still like it.

Geoff Watson, "Friendship Heights Metro," oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Friendship Heights Metro," oil on panel, 11" x 14," 2018.

Bethesda Lane

Bethesda Lane is a lovely pedestrian mall sandwiched between two busy streets in downtown Bethesda.  Its defining feature is this graceful arch.  People come to eat at the various outdoor cafes or just to sit and relax.

Last week I did a watercolor study at this spot, and today I returned to try my luck with oils.  I had an easier time drawing the scene this time, and I was happy to get some people into the action.  Unfortunately it was rather a dreary day, and the lighting conditions weren't great.  I'd like to return one more time to try to capture more vibrant colors.  I love this spot, so I shall return! 

Geoff Watson, "Bethesda Lane," oil on panel, 16" x 20," 2018.

Geoff Watson, "Bethesda Lane," oil on panel, 16" x 20," 2018.