St Francis on the Hill Day 9

Today’s painting of the day is a watercolor value sketch from a photograph of a nearby church, St. Francis on the Hill.  I see this in the distance on all of my dogwalks and it has a European feel to it, nestled in the foothills of El Paso mountains and looking into the mountains of Mexico.

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Photo and several pencil value sketches

First I started doing several pencil value sketches choosing a point or several on the photograph to audition.  One of my presents this year was Powerful Watercolor Landscapes: 37 tools for painting with impact by Catherine Gill so I followed examples in there on finding your “what” that grabs you.  For me it was the light on the distant mountains and the dark foreground with some of the church.

Isn’t it funny how simple things become clearer?  when she was writing on how to do value sketches quickly, she said make everything that’s NOT white a med shade and then add the darker values.  Simple, huh?  it works!

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Values not quite right!

Of my three sketches I liked the bottom right and did up a painted sketch to get the values right.  But it wasn’t quite right. My eyes were drawn to both the lighter church and the mountains, and there was no clear point of interest smacking you over the head.  Going back to the sketch, I saw that I had the church too light.

st_francis_on_the_hill_value_sketch (1)

Painted value sketch of St. Francis on the Hill

I think this final preliminary sketch works much better because the focal point is much more clearly defined.  It’s quite useful to do these exercises because when you read them in the books, they seem clear and easy, but it’s in the actual DOING of the work that you learn…or at least I do!

So that’s my offering for today’s challenge in the 30 in 30.  While not a finished painting, it’s working and keeping the brushes wet daily that’s the goal! thanks for stopping by…

9 thoughts on “St Francis on the Hill Day 9

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