A couple of years ago I participated in the Plein Air event hosted by Allure Gallery. One of the places I visited and where I ended up doing a little study was behind an old building in White Stone where I spotted an old car in the garage. My painting was horrible, but the photo I took came out fairly good and with a little Photoshop work developed (no pun intended) into a subject that I really wanted to paint.
I just couldn’t quite figure how to do it in oils or pastels and not make it look unhappy and stiff. I mean, it is a car, but this one had real personality and needed a medium I did not know.
Then came Doug Mock’s Beginner’s Watercolor program. I’ll call it a program rather than a simple class because we met weekly for many weeks and then continued as desired into the summer on Thursday evenings. The Thursday evening continuing ed classes gave us opportunities to work on whatever interested us and gave us access to Doug’s brain when we were struggling to figure out where to go next. In this project I had a couple of sticking points that I needed some ideas on how to approach them.
So I brought along my project. It was pre-drawn and I had masked out a goodly part of it… in fact all of the car was masked out. I had also worked out my color mixes and palette already. I knew I wanted to tackle the background first and get it in good and dark but I didn’t want a solid black as was in the photo but something with a bit of life to it even if pretty dark.
When I brought it all home, I had the back ground finished and the first layer of the foreground done. I spent about 20 minutes starting in lower right hand corner of the car. I stood back and looked at it and wow! I was suddenly really excited about where I could see this was going to go.
From here on, the whole thing just emerged slowly over the course of the day and evening on Friday with a mid-day break for an errand.