View Full Version : November 2013 Watercolor Challenge - Greenfield Village Couple

11-01-2013, 05:37 AM
A new challenge this month - from a photograph I took at Greenfield Village, Detroit on a visit a couple of years ago.


Here's a larger one in the RIL. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=178322)

Congratulations to all who painted last month's challenge Turtle. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1330753)

There is no time limit for posting your paintings but there will be a new challenge next month.


11-01-2013, 09:58 AM
Doug, this is a lovely photo and I will give it a try.

11-01-2013, 10:25 AM


11-02-2013, 05:56 AM

Nice picture...... look forward to giving it a shot....

11-02-2013, 09:18 AM
Great subject and photo for challenge, Doug...in process of moving so absolutely no time for painting, but will be taking a peak at everyone's fine work!

irene ann
11-02-2013, 09:47 AM
hi i will give it a go it is a great photo i am sorry i havent been on the chat live for a long time i cannt get in i would like any help i have try to get in using firefox and goggle chrome and i still cant log in to the chat site

11-02-2013, 10:09 AM
Sorry Irene, the chat facility has been out of action for months. I look forward to seeing your painting.


11-02-2013, 08:12 PM
Doug my shot at the challenge... not too thrilled... can the nose area on the woman be fixed?


11-03-2013, 01:39 AM
Congratulations on being the firs Paul. How big is this?

You can certainly adjust the nose using a mixture of white gouache and watercolours. You just need to get the outline right.


11-03-2013, 05:41 AM
Doug, Thanks for the comment.....

the size of the painting is 6" x 9" 140lb arches watercolor paper..... can I substitute Titanium white for the gouache? So by mixing a watercolor pigment with gouache, say the color of the skin I can paint over the dark? Interesting I will try that.... If the titanium white doesn't work I will go get some gouache.... thanks....... I did adjust the nose a bit.... it was the reverse of what I thought :D it was too big (the nose) so I used the background color to make it smaller.... a bit better but still not quite right... oh well..... I am going to play with the gouache when I get it....

11-03-2013, 08:54 PM
so fast nice try for a figure painting though

11-04-2013, 12:39 AM
No problem Paul. You could try cutting a small mask out of magic tape and sponging out the area. Titanium white mix would be Ok. I haven't used it as W&N don't make it.


11-04-2013, 07:47 PM
This seems very difficult, but I know both Sargent and Homer painted ladies dressed in white so I wanted to give it a try. Very small, about 5"x 6" on cold 140lb. Had problems with the folds in the dress, every color seemed too dark. So I'll be trying again, larger.

11-05-2013, 01:32 AM
Nicely done, I like the crop you selected.


11-05-2013, 11:41 PM
That old personal buggaboo "You can't paint people!" is rearing it's ugly head, so there's nothing for it but to give this a go!

11-07-2013, 06:24 AM
Nice photo,I will try to paint

11-07-2013, 07:42 AM
I gave the ref to my class this morning and started painting it. I have got the basics done and I'll post a progress photo later.


11-07-2013, 08:56 AM
Here's my effort, on strathmore 140.9x12,davinci paints. Decided to go with a light blue suit on the man. Yellow dress but think after putting shadow on the dress should have left it white. Red hair on the lady because my dear old mother was a redhead...James

11-07-2013, 09:22 AM
Good effort James, glad you tried something different. I aim to use pale blue/grey shades on the dress.

Here's this morning's effort in class 90 minutes on 11x14 Saunders Waterford 200lb rough. Basic washes to be reinforced with shadows etc.



11-07-2013, 10:17 AM
Good start Doug, what do you use for skin tone?

11-07-2013, 05:50 PM
Doug...not much art & web time last month.... when you live in Florida you have a lot of visitors:D
Good subject...here's my contribution...11" x 8.5" Canson 110# WC paper, Pitt pens & Sukura Koi water colors.:wave:

11-07-2013, 05:55 PM
Fab setting Larry it would really fit in the Greenfield Village.


11-08-2013, 04:03 PM
Nice. Do I see a ghost image of the couple behind them or is that my imagination? Just barely visible.

An Old Lad
11-10-2013, 05:51 PM

I decided to focus on the woman, and then transport her to W.Africa circa. 1800-1900s. I think I had Tsavo Kenya, and THE GHOST and the DARKNESS in mind. I almost added two man eating lions to this picture. I sketched them!

The train tracks were omitted, but I did try to use my palette to convey a dry, dusty and dirty place, with the woman in contrast to it.

ARCHES 1/4 sheet CP

11-10-2013, 05:57 PM
LOL Greg, you have a terrific imagination.


An Old Lad
11-10-2013, 07:27 PM
That I do, Doug. If I could paint as well as I could write, I'd be a millionaire. I don't ever think I'll be able to paint what I see in my minds eye, but I keep trying :-)

11-11-2013, 04:13 PM
Ditto for me Greg. The idea is good...........James

11-14-2013, 08:29 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Nov-2013/1058882-P1060055.JPGI'm new ... I love seeing all these participations. Very interesting! very beautiful! I like the photo.

I did a small test, but I need to understand how you show ...
So sorry if if it's not good...

11-14-2013, 08:54 AM
That's lovely Mamie, you seem to have mastered the uploader. Welcome to the forum, you will make great friends here.

The maximum size of picture is 800 pixels square but I recommend a height of 600 pixels so that the whole picture fits on screen without scrolling. That said many browsers have a CTRL+/- function to enlarge or shrink the screen so it is not so critical.


11-14-2013, 02:45 PM

I am not pleased with this one either.

Greeting size card

Sorry I missed last months. I made a mess tried to re do. didn't work :(

11-14-2013, 02:48 PM
Very difficult at that size Emilia, best to get the facial outline and minimise the detail.

I rather spoilt mine with the shadow on the faces, I'll post it tomorrow when it is light enough to photograph.


11-16-2013, 04:52 PM
Doug, I finally got around to finishing this one yesterday. I thought it would be nice to have the couple stroll on the boardwalk along the beach. Size 9 x 12.

11-16-2013, 04:58 PM
Lovely idea Lil, nice setting, good features.


11-18-2013, 08:47 AM
Hi Doug, this is really challenging. I did the best I could; this is the result of my effort.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2013/1165779-Afbeelding1upload.jpg

11-18-2013, 08:56 AM
Welcome to the forum WW, a nice job, love the strong shadow, great foliage.


11-18-2013, 05:43 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2013/42008-Watercolor_challenge_NOV.jpg I've been trying so hard to get back to painting in Watercolor, and so I decided that I would try this challenge DISPITE the fact, that I don't do well painting people, therefore, I couldn't bring myself to sacrifice a good piece of watercolor paper on such a lost cause. So this is done on some Canson watercolor paper, that I bought specifically for watercolor pencils, so it would take some water, but it doesn't take wet on wet at all! It's okay with adding a little bit of water to a drawing to blur some of the lines, but that is about all, so I painted this on dry paper.
It's 9x12, and as I feared turned out rather cartoonie. EEK! someone took her nose!!!!:lol: But could have been worse.

11-20-2013, 11:08 PM
I like the dress! I tried it on 9x14 in. :cat: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2013/1111142-image.jpg

11-21-2013, 01:50 AM
I love the imaginative use of the reference. Don't be downhearted Elaine, surprisingly you don't notice the faces so much.

Nice work Yannse, love the addition of the doggie.


11-21-2013, 07:17 AM
Hello everyone:wave:.. lovely image Doug..couldn't resist attempting it..
:clap:nice to see the variations people attempting..liked the effects of your painting Geopaint, The atmospheric setting and lighting is fabulous in your painting Larry, loved the looseness in your painting mamie and liked the strong contrast and specially the Umbrella in your painting Wet Walrus.
i think its the first time i am posting in WC monthly Challenge..
Here is my attempt in 16"x12", 140 ibs cold pressed WC paper. Removed the specs to make him look younger. Also posting the zoomed image of faces.
Critiques are most welcome..:)

11-21-2013, 07:27 AM
Glad you liked it. Nice work on the clothing and faces.

The sloping background looks a little strange though. If you put lines in the paving they should have perspective and get closer together in the distance.


11-21-2013, 07:48 AM
Thanks for your valuable comment Doug. I was struggling a lot to give an appropriate background to this painting ,feeling something was wrong but was not getting it :(. Will try to work on what you suggested. Thanks once more.

11-21-2013, 07:56 AM
The thing to do is to establish a central vanishing pint at eye level then when you draw the lines for the paving make them all head for the vanishing point from equal intervalls across the bottom of the paper. Looks strange at first but it looks more natural when finished. See my class on Street Scenes and the Perspective class in the Workshops link in my signature.


11-21-2013, 09:22 AM
Thanks Doug, will definitely go through it.:)

11-22-2013, 08:37 AM
Such lovely,charming paintings here...great to have something to keep the mind active on these cold wintry days...thank you for the great reference photo Doug. :) Here's my attempt ...C & C welcomehttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Nov-2013/33675-Greenfield_couple.jpg


11-22-2013, 09:03 AM
Good for you Patty, perhaps a little more contrast with the background would be in order? I like the deep shadow, wish I had done that.

here's mine after I completed the background. I rather overdid the shadow on the faces though. Can't win 'em all ;)



11-22-2013, 12:11 PM
Doug you have made a beautiful painting - I agree my painting could have done with some more contrast in the background. Waiting for next month's challenge now. :) Thank you again.

11-23-2013, 12:18 AM
I made a quick sketch of a portion of the photo in my sketchbook - it is watercolor and ink - looks nothing like the lovely lady in the photo but I had fun doing this


11-23-2013, 02:05 AM
Glad you enjoyed the challenge Barbara.


11-24-2013, 09:57 AM
Doug, I like how your painting came out, the background brings out the couple walking along.

11-27-2013, 11:32 AM
Wonderful work everyone. I love seeing how different the interpretations are for the same reference.

Here's my try.

8" x 10", 140# Arches cp.

I did a purple underpainting first to establish my values, then added local color.

I'm not real happy with the faces but I'll just use the excuse that they are very tiny. :lol: Had a lot of fun doing the clothing which was what really attracted me to this reference.

Thanks Doug for a fun challenge this month.



11-27-2013, 11:56 AM
It's very nice Anne, I love the faces, the lady has a nice smile :) Love the background.


11-30-2013, 04:29 PM
Lots of great interpretations this month! I've been practicing portraits in sepia to get better at seeing values. This was a bit challenging because of the background, but I learned a lot.

8" x 10" Fabriano 300# Hot Press, M Graham Sepia watercolor



11-30-2013, 06:55 PM
Works well Jan. Nice face on the lady.


12-01-2013, 03:46 AM
Congratulations to all who painted the challenge, if you are still working on yours post it here and I will see it.

Next month's challenge (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=19878433#post19878433) is a beautiful floral from a photograph by devmarie.