View Full Version : new Blue Door II wip

08-30-2008, 01:55 PM
I finally got some more time to paint. I'm trying to do this one a little brighter than my last blue door. I've got to look for new sticks to reach for. lol It's 10 x 14" on Canson. I started witha blue underpainting but I've put so many layers on trying to get it the way I want that the blue has disappeared. I'm hoping I don't wish I started with Colorfix (sanded).
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2008/3341-Talpa,NM_7-2-2008_10-06-27_AMWC.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2008/3341-BlueDoorII.jpg

08-30-2008, 03:59 PM
Oooh! good start. :thumbsup: I'm ready and waiting for the next installment.

08-30-2008, 07:55 PM
Thanks, Harriet.
Here's some more. I'm mostly done with the wall except for the shadow. I'm doing the bottom layers of the door & leaves. Greenery really adds to a painting but definitely not my favorite part.

David Patterson
08-30-2008, 11:08 PM
Lovely start Tammy!


08-31-2008, 12:21 AM
Looking good! Looking forward to finish!

08-31-2008, 06:52 PM
Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I'm working onward. I got the bottom layers of the door now. I started a little on the wall shadow. Slowly covering the paper. The door is the most fun.
Maw-t, don't hold your breath for the finish. I'm not as fast as you or I don't have as much time to paint. ;)
Tammy I'm so glad the uploader is back to working.

08-31-2008, 09:54 PM
Coming along beautifully!

09-02-2008, 09:17 AM
As you can see, I converted reference & my painting to greyscale. The wall shadow isn't near dark enough yet. I'm using a very hard dark blue pastel in light layers so the adobe color still shows through. Once I tried a softer pastel for this but it covered up the adobe & didn't look like a transparent shadow to me.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip4.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip4greyscale.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2008/3341-Talpa,NM_7-2-2008_10-06-27_AMCropSatGreyscal.JPG

Donna T
09-02-2008, 09:20 AM
Wonderful start, Tammy! The shadow on the door looks really good.


Deborah Secor
09-02-2008, 10:13 AM
Tammy, be careful you don't rely too much on that photo for the correct values. Those shadows in your reference look a tad overly dark to me, which is so often the case. Remember that the farther a shadow travels the paler it is, the softer it is, and the less detail it has. Conversely, the closer the shadow the darker the value, the tighter the edges and the more detail...

Look at the difference between the top and the bottom of the R-H shadow. You see more detail on the top, less as it travels down the gate. That shows your viewer that it's farther off. The value of the color is going to be affected by the color it's cast over, too, so the lighter white gate will have a paler blue shadow than the slightly darker adobe pink wall, which will have a slightly darker shadow. You can't always trust your photo for these things. I see a much darker shadow on the L-H side, but physics tells me that it can't be so. If you darken it that much it will stick out as being odd looking, I think. Once you get your darkest darks in place in the painting you'll be able to reason out all the correct values, but it's sure hard to do based on what you have so far.

Also, your gate looks too wide at the bottom. I'd also pay attention to the shape of the foot of the R-H post of the gate, which appears to be twisted outwards at the bottom at the moment. I assume that these two walls lined up and the gate was hung in them on the same plane, right? So draw the whole thing on the same plane, allowing for the vagaries of adobe.

Have fun!


09-02-2008, 10:32 AM
wow - that's interesting because I thought this piece was really great but I was hoping you'd put a darker shadow on the house - but listening to Deborah I don't know.

Wouldn't it just be "cooler" shadows on the door - like a more purple cool and on the adobe a more darker magenta - but enough to tie into the coral of the house? Hmmm.... All so interesting.

Oh so much to learn!!! Keep going Tammy - I'm standing behind you watching! LOL Barb

09-02-2008, 11:19 AM
'blue' door and 'orange' walls - couldn't be better!!!!!!!!:clap:

09-03-2008, 05:37 PM
Thanks Deborah for the help.
Photos always seem to give me interesting challenges. I took the photo from the right...not straight on. I think that affected the bottom of the two pieces of wall some. Should they be exactly even if you take a photo from the side? I guess I could go find a gate in a wall here & take a look at it from different angles.
The bottom of the door looked too wide because I took a poor photo of the painting.
I did do the shadow on the left lighter. I haven't tried to alter the door shadow yet. I think it should be lighter at the left & bottom of the door than the top & right. I did forget to put the lightest light & darkest dark in first. The lightest (I think) is the almost white blue on the door. The darkest would be the patio & the dark areas in the tree leaves. That dark will be darker when I use a softer pastel over this.

09-03-2008, 06:14 PM
looking great so far :clap: lookin forward to the next instalment :)

09-04-2008, 06:02 PM
I've filled in the bottom layers of the tree & foreground. I've begun to add the softer pastels to the tree.

Deborah Secor
09-04-2008, 06:50 PM
If this was my painting, I'd simplify things like this:


My digital version:

I added the red arrow so you can see how changing the shape of that edge will give the impression that the board is around a corner. You might have planned to do this already--if so, sorry I got ahead of you!


09-24-2008, 03:14 PM
I've not completely fixed that corner yet. I've finished the tree part mostly. I've done alot on the door except for the smaller blobs of light on the shadow. Today I've been trying to work on the dirt in the foreground. I thought I'd try dirt instead of gravel. It's not looking too good right now. I don't like the color & it's not laying flat.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Sep-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip9.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Sep-2008/3341-IMG_0081.JPG

09-24-2008, 04:37 PM
I think the ground is better but too smooth. I'm not touching the shadow until I have the rest of the shadow like I want it. Suggestions?

09-24-2008, 11:35 PM
I love the colors in this. Warm and inviting even though the gate is closed. I liked the ground texture in the next to last version better.

09-26-2008, 12:29 PM
I will be trying to make the texture better before done. I didn't even think of opening the gate. I guess I could have. lol I get a little nervous taking photos of people's houses.
Here's a new version of the dirt. I think it's better but I'm not totally finished. I'm not doing anything to the shadow until the rest of the dirt is better. What do you think?
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip12.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip12dirt.jpg

Deborah Secor
09-26-2008, 12:58 PM
Why not do a flagstone walkway instead of the dirt/gravel, and then have some grass on the sides?


09-26-2008, 05:42 PM
Deborah, do you really want to open that can of worms? :lol: I'm terrible at coming up with something I don't have reference for. The grass might not be too bad but don't know about the flagstone. Do you have a reference?

09-26-2008, 06:12 PM
I was going to put some scraggly weeds next to the building after I got the dirt right. Deborah, do you really think it would be better to start over on the foreground? I found some references. What do you think of them?http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2008/3341-flagstone1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2008/3341-flagstoneclosetoleft.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2008/3341-flagstonewithGrassWC.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2008/3341-flagstoneShadowWC.jpg

Deborah Secor
09-27-2008, 11:34 AM
I'd use the very top of the second one and plug in those five top stones, going off the bottom of the page, then straggle in some weedy grass at the edges. You can retain the shape of the shadow you have there already. You can handle a little interpretation, Tammy. I suggest you try it--it might strengthen some muscles. You don't have to copy the photo perfectly, just use what works there... and if the can of worms is just too much, go back to textured dirt! No biggie. Just a little experiment.


09-27-2008, 12:14 PM
You're right it would be good for me to experiment & exercise my "muscles". I think I may try it on another piece of paper first to get the hang of it some.

09-27-2008, 12:49 PM
Deborah, is this what you mean (no shadow yet)? I think it does improve it. lol

09-27-2008, 12:55 PM
This is wonderful seeing the progression. The shadow on the door is exquisite. The trees are very dark now, don't forget to get the beautiful highlights in them.

I'd like to make a suggestion: Get all the colors and values for the entire painting in before finishing any one area. That way you can be sure your lights and darks; warms and cools; and dulls and brights are correct first. In other words, don't add any details until these basics are done first.

Deborah Secor
09-27-2008, 12:56 PM
Yes, but I'd switch the angle so that the path is flipped over and curves from right corner up to the left, which would lead the eye into it more naturally. See how the curve would then form a nice circular movement? You're on the right track... :thumbsup:


09-27-2008, 06:10 PM
OK, I flipped the path & got the harder pastel layer on. Next I'll do the softer layers of the flagstone, &the areas between them. Then last will be the purple-blue shadow. Is it still on right track?
Tammyhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip14.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip14flagstone.jpg

09-27-2008, 07:37 PM
I worked on the flagstones alot more & the area in between them....all but the shadow. I'm thinking I might like it better if the in between was a little lighter. What do you think?
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2008/3341-IMG_0097.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2008/3341-IMG_0098.JPG

Deborah Secor
09-27-2008, 09:47 PM
Don't overemphasize the cracks and dark areas too much, but they need to be there to give it depth. We always see more contrast in the nearer foreground, of course. I think it looks good with the flagstone, Tammy!


09-27-2008, 09:59 PM
That door really pops! I can't wait to see it finished.

Jo Castillo
09-27-2008, 11:33 PM
Nice work and corrections. Looking great. I will look forward to the finish.

09-28-2008, 01:12 PM
Thanks everyone. I'm pleased you agree that it's looking good.

09-28-2008, 06:43 PM
I started on the shadow on the flagstone & worked on the posts. Just as I started to work on the bottom of the posts I looked at my watch & I was late.

09-28-2008, 07:01 PM
Tammy the flagstone looks great!
You get an A+ for not giving up. Thank you for sharing with us your progress on this painting. It's looking good!


10-09-2008, 05:12 PM
Well, I finally got my mind on painting today. I've worked over all of the painting. All I think I've got left is to put some sun spots in the flagstone shadow & add some scraggly weeds. What do you think? Do you think the wall shadow should be darker? That shadow is more blue-grey than purple IRL.

10-10-2008, 11:31 AM
I've done at least 3 more passes trying to get it just the right value. I'm afraid of going too dark or the color turning out strange. lol It's closer but I think it still needs to be some darker, or do you? I also lightened the posts some. They looked too dark compared to the rest of the shadow. I'll add some weeds soon.

10-14-2008, 04:23 PM
I've worked on the shadows some & added some weeds. Do the weeds look OK? I had to make them up. Do you think they (weeds) need any shadows?

10-14-2008, 05:17 PM
This has turned out beautifully Tammy! I wouldn't know whether to add a shadow with the weeds. The main focus is the door and that wonderful flagstone brings me into the picture wanting to know what's on the other side. well done! I like it very much.

10-14-2008, 05:19 PM
thanks for the step by step this turned out beautifully

10-14-2008, 10:49 PM
This is so nearly perfect, I'm loving it on sight. I read through your thread and it's been a challenge again and again that you keep meeting and exceeding. I like the delicacy of your weeds.

I think just a touch of weeds shadows would work, not a lot of detail to them. Maybe just a squiggle of shadow color at their base. The direction of the light is what's important in adding shadows. They're coming forward and to the left over dirt, so shortening and squiggling them would help make the light complete without being such a distracting detail.

A little violet in the shadows on the adobe could darken it without bluing it too much since you've been using those delicate darker blue layers and not getting it dark enough. Especially if you have a grayish violet you could use.

If it's a soft stick and you were to take a sponge or cotton bud and dab it on patchily it might come off cool in the shadow to darken it. Or scribble with the color you're using for shadow on a scratch sheet and pick up its powder to dab it on in patches. Just a thought.

Jo Castillo
10-15-2008, 10:55 PM
Tammy, this is beautiful. I do think just a little scribble of shadows at the bottom of the weeds to set them down into the earth. Great job.....

10-16-2008, 02:56 AM
Tammy lots of gold stars for perseverance and even more for success in your endeavours. Deborah is such a good teacher, her suggestions have been so useful and you have been so good to take them all on board and use them willingly.

However before you call it finished, pleease can I suggest you look again at the shadow on the adobe.
Looks like you have used a sort of pale purple for the shadow. If you look again at your original photo, you will see that shadows are transparent and whatever colour they fall onto, influences the colour of the shadow. the shadow on the adobe is, in fact, a darker version of....ADOBE!!! Purple shadows work well on whites and greys; blue shadow on a blue door is spot on, but the purple on the adobe is not right for either tone or colour. You can use SOME purples in the shadow tone, but overall, it needs to read as "shadow falling onto pinky/terracotta adobe"....so more dark oranges/brown plus some purple in there if you wish. You know how to do the greyscale thing; if you greyscale your current pic you will see how wrong the tone is, on the wall. Then, by all means, use Deborah's teaching about the subtle variations in the depth of tone depending on the distance from the light source.

Get that right and you have a winner.


10-16-2008, 09:26 AM
Robert, thanks for the help.
Thanks Jackie. It used to look more adobe & still does some in real life. It's more blue-grey over adobe color really. I put adobe on first & went over it lightly with the other color. It's difficult to get everything the right color in a photo for here. I will keep that in mind.
Here's the final....got to quit noodling. I'm still having a little trouble getting photos the best with my new camera.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Oct-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip22.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Oct-2008/3341-BlueDoorIIwip22weeds.JPG

10-16-2008, 11:20 AM
Wow - I'm impressed. I've been watching the progression and it's wonderful to see the slow but deliberate steps you've taken Tammy.

I defer to the SW dwelling artists for colors and tips.

Flagstones look great too!