Castle in the mist

It probably would have been wise to listen to the weatherman this morning. He said the rain would stop around noon but… there was a light mist falling when I left my house so it seemed that the rain would be over at any moment. When I joined the Tuesday Plein Air group I was surprised to see that I wasn’t the only optimist. There were five of us who spent the morning painting in that mist at Cap St. Jacques Nature Park. It was an interesting process to work on this sketch of Chateau Gohier which I did on Fabriano Hot Press paper. Normally this paper dries faster than you want it to, but today I couldn’t get it to dry at all. That made for perfect texture on the stones. If you look carefully you’ll see the marks from the mist. It’s almost like I used a fine spray bottle. Even the ink lines are somewhat runny from drawing on the damp paper.

The approach I took with this was a bit like what I will be teaching at the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Singapore in July. My workshop is called Big Brush Colour and in it I’ll be demonstrating this very technique. The first wash I did on this was one that covered the entire building. With my big mop brush I painted that first layer of colour in the stone, varying the wash as I went along. Later on I came in with darker colour in the roof, under the turret and in the individual stones, but it is really that one first big brush wash that ties it all together. The paper remained damp long after I got back to my car, and from what I hear about the humid weather in Singapore in July, I may have the same drying issues as I had today. There’s still time to register for the Symposium if you are interested!


19 Comments on “Castle in the mist”

  1. Suzanne Tractenberg says:

    Hi, Shari….love the treatment you did on the building! And the entire picture is great!


  2. randilbouck says:

    Absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing.


  3. Gayle says:

    Wonderful lively sketch! Also congratulations on being one of the instructors at the Symposium. I followed the link and checked out all the activities and programming. What an amazing event that will be. All the best and look forward to hearing all about it in your future posts – hope there will be some videos as well!


    • Gayle, this is an amazing event and I am so thrilled to be going to Singapore. What makes it unique is the large pool of activities and workshops you can take. It is really hard to make choices because the quality is so high. And people coming together from all over the world makes it a really stimulating event. I can’t wait!


  4. Muriel Scott-Smith says:

    Here’s another (which I like a lot more).

    I have to make ratatouille for Sunday. I have a couple of eggplant casseroles; I guess that’s the same thing? Any bright ideas for this? My recipes have to be GOOD AND EASY!!!

    Sent from my iPad



  5. Linda says:

    Gorgeous Shari! I love the variation of colors and how you inked in the stonework. You have so many different techniques that I wish I could do.


  6. Lee Kline says:



  7. I look at work like this and hope and pray I’ll see the day when I can create something half as gorgeous. Love the color, texture, placement, wonderful angles and perspective in this – in short, everything. Rock on, Shari!


  8. sandidureice says:

    It is amazing how you describe the conditions under which you paint and the result is something as beautiful as this.


    • It was quite damp and unpleasant that day, but sometimes you learn from working under those circumstances. I learned that even though I can’t paint in rain, I can paint in mist.


  9. sue Fenyvesi says:

    Beautiful work.


  10. carolyn says:

    I really enjoy the way you describe your approach. It is very helpful in understanding how you achieved the end result. Fabulous.

    Been to Singapore. It is HUMID! If you are outdoors, it will take a bit to adjust. At first it feels like you have an elephant on your chest, hard to breathe the humidity is so high! But sooo much fun. A great place to visit!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s