Watercoloring the Cupola of Ridglea Theater

Ridglea Theater Cupola

Today afforded little time for studio work, but at least I got something accomplished and learned a few things in the process.  The cupola of this Ridglea tower features a brick that is pinkish in tone, compared to the ochre cut stones on the actual tower.  It is a subtle distinction, but a distinction nevertheless.  As I began washing in the pink tones of the bricks, careful to delineate the archway arrangement of bricks, my eye kept going to the shadow side, and finally I decided on a mixture of ultramarine blue and cadmium red medium to render the shadow darker.  Once that was dry, it was time to re-establish the shadows inside the archway.  I had already used sepia and mixes of Winsor Green and Alizarin Crimson to lay in the shadows inside the archway on the right.  But as I looked at the archway on the shadow side, I kept noticing in the photograph that the interior was more atmospheric than what appears within the arch on the sunlit wall.  So, I decided again to go with ultramarine blue, but to concentrate it at the top of the shadow, then shift gradually to cadmium red medium as I worked my way down to the bottom.  One it was dry, I liked the look–more atmospheric than plain dark.

The birds were a little disturbing–something I’d never painted before (that I recall).  I just chose to go with a Cool Gray VI with an Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil, and moisten a brush to push the shadow colors across the rest of the body.  I did next-to-nothing while working on the birds, all the while praying that they would at least resemble birds.

The terra cotta roofing on both towers just involved some watercolor pencils and a moist brush.  I worked them over pretty quickly, choosing to avoid detail.  I used several different shades of red and green to get the terra cotta look, and mostly sepia and ultramarine blue in the shadows.

Thanks for reading.  Hopefully, I’ll get back to this again tomorrow.

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2 Responses to “Watercoloring the Cupola of Ridglea Theater”

  1. Lilybell Says:

    Looking even more fantastic every day! You could frame just the roof there and it would be lovely! I am so amazed by your detailed work.


  2. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    This is progressing very well and I love the way you handled the subtle, atmospheric archway. Beautiful! and effective…


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