Monday, 23 July 2012

Selecting the View

A Street leading up to the Church in St. Saturnin les Apt
Challenge #2: Selecting the View
In the first week I discovered that I was somewhat indecisive when it came to selecting the perfect view to paint. We were within a short 20 minute drive of many small, charming perched villages – like Murs, St Saturnin les Apt, Lioux, Saignon, Goult, Bonnieux, and Joucas – where we painted, as well as at the base of Gordes and at an old ochre quarry. At each location I could have painted a street scene, a vista looking out over the village walls to a distant landscape with vineyards, lavender fields, and the low Luberon mountains, or something even closer. Shade from the sun (as temperatures were in the 90s) and staying clear of traffic were also important considerations. Upon arriving at each location I usually walked and looked for the perfect view - for at least an hour - before settling down to paint. In St Saturnin les Apt, I sat on the street (off to the side) in the photo above, and drew this view of buildings, including far too much architectural details, on a 14" x 18"canvas - and ran out of time and the energy to paint it.

At Saignon I made some small value studies (above), took lots of photos, and finally got out the water colours and painted this little work (below). It was a bright, sunny day and there were wonderful shadows - but it was the little citroen car that really attracted me and the contrast of it against the old stone buildings.

By the second week I decided on the view to paint more quickly, and was able to set up faster and painting improved. 

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