The bend in the road

I can’t stress enough the importance of good value planning before you start a painting. If you know where you are headed as you start to paint you have a much better chance of keeping your colours fresh and avoiding problem areas. Below is what I did today in Pointe Claire Village. I don’t  know what I was thinking when I added the big dark shadows in the foreground. I already have a big dark area behind the house.



Here is what a little light Photoshop work can do. I took out all the dark stuff in the foreground. I’m left with a bit of an uninteresting area (that I can improve with texture in the final painting) but at least it’s not a shapeless dark. And now the focus of my sketch is where it should be — at the bend in the road where all the action is. And at least I didn’t waste many hours and some good paper figuring this out.


20 Comments on “The bend in the road”

  1. Monique says:

    I loved taking an art class w/ Helmut Gerth..and of course Pointe Claire village..well.. was his to me:)
    This is great!

    I have a hard time scanning my paintings to look anything like the real thing..


  2. Ross says:

    That’s interesting… I actually like it better with the dark shadow… I get the feeling that the composition “steps” better into the depth of the painting… and still leads my eye to the corner in the distance.
    It could also be that you are not very good with Photoshop… maybe you could find a good teacher and take a course. : )


    • I guess I need someone who can teach me photography and Photoshop at the same time.
      What I should have said is that I will retain the shadow in the foreground but make it more dappled and lighter. I hope to get back to that spot this week to do the painting.


      • Ross says:

        Yes, you could try to address your inadequacies but perhaps you should just stick to what you do best… painting. And I guess you must be feeling so thankful that you have all these people (like me) who are so happy to tell you when you are having trouble reviewing your own work? : )


      • I am so thankful Ross : )


  3. Alison says:

    most instructive. I really like how the paint sits on this paper. Is this the newest sketchbook? Or am I imagining things…


  4. John says:

    The original with the dark shadows in the foreground is more interesting to my eye. The eye has to travel a winding path along the light areas giving it some movement.


    • Thanks John. Have a look at what I said to Ross. The photoshop version is not what I intend either. I should have photoshopped in some dappled shade in the foreground which is what I intend to do.


  5. Connie Turnbull says:

    Hi Shari,

    I’ve just started exploring with watercolour, and love your daily sketch and blog – you are my inspiration. Enjoyed the photo of your car studio!

    Today’s PC village before Photoshop may have been a bit dark with the shadows, but you might look at the green bush on the front right foreground now – is the base a little too heavy?

    I run the Mac Faculty Club, and was hoping to meet you at the PDHT luncheon earlier this month, but Mr. Sargent obviously charmed you away – if you like, please feel free to use the grounds or the terrace here for any of your wandering sketches.


    (Sent from my iPad)


    • Hi Connie,
      I love the Mac Faculty Club and the view from the terrace is so beautiful. I was not teaching at Abbott this semester so I wasn’t on the list for lunch but I have been there in previous years. And yes, Mr. Sargent did charm me away.
      I will definitely take you up on your offer to enjoy the view from the terrace. Thanks so much for that.
      As you can see from my previous responses, my Photoshop version was not ideal. I think somewhere in the middle is the way to go.
      Version 1 is way too dark and does leave the base of the bush too heavy. So I think the dappled shade will be my solution. Just not as dark as what is there now.


  6. I have to agree with the others, that I like the shadow version better. Even with the dark shadow I think the white house at the end of the street catches your eye and leads you in. I hope you’ll post your second version. Thanks!


  7. Sue says:

    I like the shadow version better too…it gives a wonderful fun way for the eye to travel back to the bend in the road.


  8. lilotte says:

    Well, I like the first version better, it’s more “alive” for me.


  9. Virginia Duran says:

    Shari, I’ve selected your blog to be featured in my article about Inspiring Art and Architecture blogs. It will get published on tomorrow. Congratulations and love your blog!


  10. […] an art lesson. She is a renown artist at Urban Sketchers international blog. Post I liked most: The bend in the road _______________________________________________________________________________ Name: owl’s […]


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