Adding Bricks to the Ridglea Theater Watercolor

Ridglea Theater Closeup

Today I managed to slip into the studio for a short period, and begin work on the bricks in this Ridglea tower.  After laying down several washes yesterday (combination of Cadmium Yellow Deep and Cadmium Red Medium, along with some Ultramarine Blue and Sepia), I took a handful of watercolor pencils today and tried to sharpen some detail.  I like the Albrecht Durer, Derwent and Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils the best.  I used mostly Goldenrod, Venetian Red, Terra Cotta, Sienna Brown and Brown Ochre.  I also found useful the Derwent Graphitint (water soluble) in Chestnut color.  After drawing with the pencils and dragging a wet flat brush over the area, I started to get the effect I was pursuing.  I chose to stop, because I know that if I put every brick in place along the entire tower facade, that I’m going to finish with an illustration at best, and a comic book effect at worst.  I am getting attached to this watercolor, and am hoping for a decent watercolor painting, as a work of fine art.  My worst fear at this point is finishing this piece with an “illustration” look, the same problem that plagued Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth.  When I  step back from the reference photos, I have to keep reminding myself that I cannot see every brick, every seam.  What I need to determine is just how much (or how little) of the brick detail I need to put into this composition.  I have always liked Wyeth’s assessment that the strength of a composition is not what you put into it, but what you leave out.

So.  I see plenty of “composting” on the horizon, as I “think out” the next move on this painting. And right now, I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Thanks for reading.


One Response to “Adding Bricks to the Ridglea Theater Watercolor”

  1. Turnbull Chapter - CAHS (Pierre) Says:

    Great commentary, thanks.


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