Some paintings take longer than others! My painting entitled 43 Meeting Street was one of those paintings. There is a lot going on in this painting. What started out being a fun, colorful, pretty yellow house painting turned out to be fairly complex and an interesting artistic challenge.
This historic yellow home is a Charleston single home or half-house. What appears to be the front door of the home is actually an entrance onto the first floor piazza or deck. The actual front door is midway down the deck facing perpendicular to the street. The home is on a narrow lot and only one room wide. These types of homes were built with their piazzas facing either south or west in order take advantage of the local winds during the heat of the summer.
The potted plants and flowers on either side of the “front door” may be the initial focus when studying the painting, or maybe it’s the colorful, yellow façade? The decorative iron-gate catches the eye quickly and leads you into the painting. In other words, there is a lot to take in, which is the way I felt when I walked by it for the first time. I kept taking double-takes!
The more I painted the more I appreciated all of the architectural elements of the home. Therefore I painted in more detail than I originally planned. More detail in paintings isn’t always necessary or desirable, but in this case I thought it would help make a stronger painting.
The dappled light and shadows offered a nice opportunity to have some fun with color. The yellow painted façade of the home is a relatively strong French yellow, but when the light hits it it is almost pale in color. In the shadows lavenders, blues, oranges, and ochre appear.
The dark wired foundation windows were troublesome at first and became fun to paint when I discovered that using the canvas surface with thin washes of color created an illusion of a wired surface.
Dark shaded ceilings when lightened-up and examined more closely unveiled decorative coffered-like ceilings. I couldn’t live with leaving that out of my painting.
The decorative iron-gate was time consuming just to rough in. Adding the little highlights to each rounded or flat surface that was hit by the sunlight filtering through the overhanging trees helped make the gate more three-dimensional.
I had fun with painting the manhole cover, the granite curbs, the granite post and curved handrail.
They say the devil is in the details. Definition: it seemed simple at first (a pretty yellow house) but took more time and effort than expected.
I hope you like 43 Meeting Street. I’m glad I put in the effort to make it representational.
Thank you for following my art and for reading my journal. Next on the easel will be a large bird painting! Please check back soon to see which bird it will be. :-)