Pitfalls of Architecture Painting en Plein Air

©2017 - Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clocktower- watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm 600

Architecture Painting on location can be trying.

After another week of architecture painting outside I thought I’d share some of my challenges.

  • The Weather : Fortunately the elements have been relatively kind. The wind only require me to tie down the easel and spread the salt further than intended.
  • Perspective and neck aches: This is the second painting of the courtyard and I wanted to use a forced angle perspective of the Courtyard Clock Tower. It took some time to get the perspective right and my neck ached a bit by the time I finished.
  • The sun is ALWAYS in the wrong place. It moves, gets in your eyes, disappears so you freeze or comes out in full force so you bake. This time temperatures have been much cooler so it’s been much better to paint in.

Here it is after the drawing was complete and the masking underway.

©2017 - Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard ClocktowerWIP - pencil and masking fluid- 40 x 50 cm 600
©2017 – Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clocktower WIP – pencil and masking fluid- 40 x 50 cm 600
  • Curious people keep checking out the work. Actually, I don’t mind this, in fact I quite like it.
  • Unexpected things happen. I ended up using far more salt than planned as a “sprinkle” ended up as a “tip”. (See the point about the weather.)

The early painting

©2017 - Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clock tower Painting begins - watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm 600
©2017 – Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clock tower Painting begins – watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm 600
  • Don’t disturb the neighbours. At this point the couple on the bench near me moved their bench 3 feet further from me. Was it something I said or the salt? I think they were wise.
©2017 - Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard ClocktowerWIP 1- watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm 600
©2017 – Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clocktower – watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm 600

The windows are really working to my liking.

  • Getting the painting to dry. I found the inks were drying too fast. So the path on the right ended up being almost black. I had to get creative to lighten things up.

Which required several layers of ink to be built up.Each layer had to dry before the next was added. fortunately, drying wasn’t an issue.

After a lot more tweaking I had this.

©2017 - Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard ClocktowerWIP long view - watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm 600
©2017 – Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard ClocktowerWIP long view – watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm 600

 

  • You need a wet weather option Especially working in watercolour and water based mediums. The last day was a bit damp, so I finished the painting indoors.
  • Sometimes, you just run out of time. The painting is nearly finished but there’s a bit more to do. As I haven’t been back since, I’ll post what I have, for now.
©2017 - Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clocktower- watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm 600
©2017 – Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clocktower- watercolour and Acrylic- 40 x 50 cm

The (nearly) finished painting is at Horizon framing and you can see it, in the exhibition with my other Architecture paintings,  until 30th April.

Did I miss any pitfalls?

Update

Here’s the finished Painting.

©2017 - Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clocktower - Watercolour and Acrylic ink - 40 x 50 cm
©2017 – Cathy Read -Claydon House Courtyard Clocktower – Watercolour and Acrylic ink – 40 x 50 cm
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