View Full Version : Seaside Post Office (WIP)--HELP

05-04-2003, 10:08 AM
This is a photo of my friend, Jane, and her daughter and niece, taken several years ago in Florida. Here is the reference pic...


It took me a long time to draw and I know that my perspective is still off :mad: but I started to paint it and have felt pretty good about progress but now I am not sure what to do with the building to keep it white. I did the shadows with Winsor Violet but now I realize that it is staining and probably not a good choice. What color should I go over the purple with to get the right look? I also think it is too bright and GREEN. Help!! Can this be salvaged? I really need help with the shadows and the light.



Obviously, I took some liberties with the picture, adding the flag, etc. Thanks so much for looking and any help you can lend will be greatly appreciated. Happy Painting all.


05-04-2003, 11:23 AM
Hi Kate-
It's a great painting....don't stop now!
You could darken the glass...all the same color, window and door glass, but keep some of the reflective variations that you've already got.
Shade and Shadows- that voilet color you've already got going on looks good, maybe add some shadow variation to the foliage.
Perspective is off on the little portico roof...maybe just add a suggestion of the roof itslef, which you would see in your perspective.
White buildings are hard...all you can seem to do is suggest things.....
It's looking really good!

05-04-2003, 11:27 AM
Hi Kate,

I really don't know enough to offer help, but I can offer encouragement. You've chosen a project with lots of detail, and you're doing a bang-up job with it.

Keep going, trust your instincts and I'm sure with the advice that Mindy just gave, it'll be a painting you'll be very pleased with.

Keep up the good work=0)

Kate Mc
05-04-2003, 01:18 PM

This is a good job. I can see what attracted you to the picture. I love the detail work on the building--you really captured it! When I compare the reference photo to your painting, I notice two things:

First, the door glass and the windows should be the same color. This might be hard to fix, given that you can't make the door purple because that's the same color as the shadows on the column and you can't make the windows blue because the purple is staining. I wonder if you can make it a wooden door? Or maybe just make it darker in the center, so that it doesn't look like glass.

Second, while the flag adds a great note to the front (and it's exactly what you see in front of most post offices), the shadow of the flagpole doesn't fit with the soft overhead light on the rest of the picture. You'd have to add shadows for the columns, the people, the railing, the hedge, the trees, etc. Can you lift it?

I hope that you keep working on this--it has a good foundation.

Kate (another one!)

05-04-2003, 01:24 PM
Mindy, mpop and Kate:

Thanks for looking and all your comments. I am going to try to work some more on this one. I see exactly what each of you mentioned. I appreciate the feedback. Will keep trying.

thanks again.



05-04-2003, 01:24 PM

White buildings are tough....I think you have rendered it well

I find Windsor Blue wonderful for windows.....leaving some white for reflection

Thi is going to be ok....just keep going

that door glass might need to be divided to read well

and then A LIGHT SOURCE!

where is the light...where will your deepest shadows be?

Because the photo is neutral...YOU GET TO DECIDE:cool:

05-04-2003, 01:28 PM
Thanks Pam.... we cross posted. I am trying to make it a very sunny day which is why I put the flag shadow. I have some shading to do!

And, of course, I am terrified to draw the figures and the faces--OMG... but :eek: I am digging in the dirt today and will check back as I continue to look at this painting and approach it again.

My photos are not very good and it's too big to scan....sorry....

thanks for looking


05-05-2003, 06:14 AM
Kate, somehow I missed this thread... purple underpainting looks really well done... it's a particularly difficult technique to master... I find that laying on the local colour is my challenge... You have received some very good advice... One note/comment about the flagpole shadow... it seems you've already selected your light source and may want to further develop it! And don't worry about leaving some of the purple on your building... You already have a photograph... you are now creating a mood, a presence, a painting from it!

05-05-2003, 06:36 AM
Hi Kate,

You are doing fine here, you just need to bring things into sync with one another a little more.

You might consider adding a wash of the same color you used on the left window over the door glass to tone it down a little since it would be in shadow under the portico.

Also, in the reference photo, more of the wood in the center part of the door is showing next to the column. You could extend the thin strip of wood you have there a little.

Good luck when you start the figures.

It's raining today so you can't be out digging in the yard. Time to pick up your brushes.

05-05-2003, 06:51 AM
Char and Sylvia:

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and great advice. I am still a little stuck and afraid to do anything else but after all, each is a learning process and I have to get over my "every painting has to be perfect" neurosis. LOL Geez, I am still afraid to use the really good paper and paints that I have. (saving it for the "good" paintings when I get better at this:D.

I should take the same advice I always give my mother...."Why save the silver for special occasions?! Use it and enjoy it everyday. Life is short --every day is special. Use the good stuff--you deserve it ."

I am going to try changing a few things as you all have suggested and havestarted on the figures. That is really the scary part as I don't want this to look cartoonish. Will report back later and again. I appreciate the input.


05-05-2003, 01:15 PM
Kate, this is looking just great so far!! Ditto other's suggestions and comments...and ditto the great job you did on the underpainting!! Will be checking back for your progress :D

:clap: :clap: :clap:

05-05-2003, 01:22 PM
Hi, Kate! You've got a great start here. Don't give up yet. If you're wanting to tone down your foliage, you can glaze with red to "grey" down your greens. Experiment with a swatch on scrap paper first tho' to see how intense or dilute your wash should be. LIkewise with the violet shadows and blue window - glaze over with a complementary color if you find something too bright - yellow over the violet or orange over the blue - but try a swatch before dancing into your painting! Don't want to muddy things up!