Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Old Barn Sketch and Shadows on Chairs

I seem to be stuck on the old barn theme, but then barns come in so many styles, shapes, colors, conditions, settings.... I don't suppose I'll ever run out of examples. I think maybe I need to try a watercolor of a barn. For now I've sketched another one and like it pretty well.

I recently bought a block of 15 sheets of 140# cold press watercolor in a 5 x 7 size and this might just be the ideal size to try a series of old barns on. I'll have to try one and see how it goes.

Meanwhile I tried adding shadows to the Adirondack chairs in my current work in progress and don't know if I like it or not. Are they too dark? the right color? I have positioned the sun very high in the right hand corner of the painting. Do the shadows look like they are in the correct position?  I know I still have to put shadows under the chairs in the sand. Do I use the same color over the brown or do I just put another layer of brown in those spots?  I'd really appreciate some input on this please. I know I have to add more depth and dimension to the grasses and the sand and I will get to that sometime soon.

I did my 2 miles on the treadmill yesterday, with a slow jog for 1.5 of them and it felt great. I think I'm going to do that again today.

It is still gray and rainy here today, but we are fortunate that we didn't get all the rain they predicted and we have power. It appears that many in the area are not so lucky as we are.

Have a great day and try to make a bit of time for yourself while you are at it!!!



  1. Beautiful artwork here, Vicki! Yes, I will take a few minutes for myself today! Maybe some reading outdoors in the afternoon. :)


  2. I think the shadows are in the right places. The color works for me too.

    One thing that often happens in paintings that bothers me, the background is added after the subject. The dark brown looks like this. It's fine to do that, but remember to go back in and make it look more like the subject is on top of the background. (I hope that makes sense)
    I don't really work with water color very often, so I don't know about how to do the shadows under the chairs. If the color you used for the chairs is translucent enough you could probably use that, but when I'm working in oils, or acrylics, I make a new color for every shadow, that has the color I'm shadowing in it. (now that's a tongue twister isn't it?)

    looking forward to seeing more progress on them.

    I like your barn. Barns can be very intriguing. Old barns seem to have their own personality.

    Wolf Kahn did a barn series, he worked in coloring things different colors than you's expect. They were beautiful. (here's a link to my favorite, if you're interested.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. This is coming along very nicely! Re shadows ... they often reflect some of the color around them so the shadow of the chairs on the sand should probably have that color in them. Your barn is very nice. You've really improved so much with the perspective! hugs, nancy

  4. Shadows are amazing things. They do contain all kinds of colors. And they are very translucent. Also, something helpful that I learned once is that in sunlight, shadows are 40% darker than the lighted side of the object. Cast shadows are darker than that. So all you have to do is make a 10 level gray scale. Find the value of the lighted side of your object and go down 4 shades to find the shadow value. In this case, your chairs are white, so your shadows should be the value of the 4th shade on your scale. I'm guessing that means they could be even darker than they are, at least in places. Shadows take courage! Have fun!

  5. If your paint is transparent enough you can always add a second glaze to the shadows underneath to deepen the colour. The shadows you've already put in look fine.

  6. Nice sketch Vicki, and the chairs are looking good!

  7. It's probably too late to be making recommendations since I'm getting to this three whole weeks after you posted it, but I think you only need to do a little grounding of the chairs (shadows on the ground) and perhaps a little darker between the slats.

    I'm hoping to catch up with all the digests that I've gotten behind on I'll probably get to see the finale of this soon!