Up Main

Up and down views are something I rarely get to draw in Montreal. Flat street scenes can get pretty boring, I’ll admit. Rockport is all hills. Views leading down to the harbour and up through houses and gardens. For this sketch I had one goal– to put down colour and value in the simplest way possible. There’s very little glazing in this type of approach. Mix the colour as accurately as possible on your brush, put the wash on the paper, drop in more colour if it’s too light, and let it dry. It’s a great mental exercise because it forces you to really look at one shape next to another before you put any pigment on paper.




43 Comments on “Up Main”

  1. SusanA says:

    What a great exercise! This sketch feels so full of life in its simple approach. I’ve only been to Rockport once, but your paintings bring it all back for me.


    • As you can see, it’s a place that I love… Every street and every alley is a sketch for me. Thanks for writing Susan. And if you get a chance to go back, take your sketchbook.


  2. Jodi says:

    Gorgeous! You make it look soooo easy …. I know it is NOT! 🙂


  3. ChesapkLady says:

    This one is SPECTACULAR!! I agree with Jodi, you make it look so easy. I’m going to save this one so I can refer to just how you dealt with the layers of cars, shadows, shapes. . . You are amazing! Thanks for this one FOR SURE!


  4. Alison says:

    You’ve captured the light so beautifully. I really get a sense of the temperature. Nice job on the cars. That little slash of light between the foreground cars is perfect. Looks like you are having fun there!


  5. The whites on the building are awesome, but I’m so stuck with the perspective and how you rendered those cars!! Beautifully done! 😍


  6. so very lively and bright, atmospheric, natural, lovely


  7. Dee says:

    Colors in this just pop….love it!


  8. Soni McFarland says:

    Well, I’m definitely going down hill and enjoying every house, tree, bush, pole – just every moment . Great job on the cars as well.


  9. rosjenke says:

    So clean and fresh. The colours are amazing – as is the painting. Thank you for sharing so generously as I’ll probably never have the opportunity to paint with you in person.


  10. Judy Sopher says:

    Waiting to hear which Rockport this is. I love this sketch. It is lovely. You even make the cars interesting. Urban scenes are my favorite.


  11. Louise says:

    I am looking at this painting at around 5:30 a.m. What a great way to start the day. Your painting is so bright and refreshing, no doubt as a result of the approach you describe. I love it. I always say truth is simple … maybe painting/sketching is too when understood is terms of basics … shapes, color, values …. the results can appear complex in the hands of a master.


  12. Judith Cozon says:

    You are such an inspiration to us all Shari – thank you!


    • I love to paint and sketch, it’s an added bonus for me that there is a receptive audience out there and I’m lucky to have such wonderful feedback. It’s my good fortune Judith.


  13. monique says:

    Oh just perfect Shari!


  14. Bernie Russ says:

    What can I add to the wonderful comments on your work? It is absolutely wonderful! You bring such joy to so many. Thank you for the delight to my eyes. bernadette


  15. Patricia Burkhardt says:

    I love your work. I was told about your posts by my friend Maria Bennett Hock. I started drawing a few years ago, after reading a book I found in my son’s room, Drawing on the right side of the brain, and started watercolor 2 years ago. I printed the painting below and want to copy it, for myself, to try to get the colors and shapes. For example I overdo trees because I think I need more layers and definitions. And I love the city scene, your art is beautiful. I want to understand watercolor and incorporate what I learn from copying what you do. I hope this is OK. Patricia Burkhardt


    • Hi Patricia, I can’t see your painting but it is fine that you try to copy the work. Many people do that but I appreciate hearing about it. Great to hear that you have taken up drawing and painting, and that certainly is a great book to start with. Good luck with your painting!


  16. kcemily says:

    Great work always ….I have been admiring & enjoying your work & blog for a while now. I’ve begun taking your classes ….Thoroughly enjoy your teaching style as well … Thanks


  17. andycjackson says:

    Remarkable . I am impressed with your composition, placement of colors and the accuracy of the buildings relative to size and perspective . The handling of the vehicles , equally remarkable . Did you do this in one session and were you in the street ? I see two blues in the sky, did you plan that ? All in all Shari this is a wonderful painting to study , thanks !


    • Hi Andy,
      Thanks for writing and glad you like it! I did do all this in one sitting, and I wasn’t on the street. I found a spot between two buildings, in the shade, and tucked myself in there. It took about an hour to complete this. I don’t remember the specifics of the blue in the sky but I think it was just one pigment.



  18. t roache says:

    Looks like you were parked on the street.GREAT. I really wish you would do a video or book on drawing something like this.Do you look for rectangles squares,angles.Where to start. You make it look easy. Best regards Thomas


    • Hi Thomas, I was not in my car. Since it’s a curved street I had a great view from a shady spot between two buildings. It was the perfect place to sit.
      I would love to do a book as well but no publishers have phoned me yet… Still waiting for that!


  19. zuzala says:

    Wonderful painting. I love the rhythm of the house colors and their grounding by the row of cars. Lovely meeting you this past Sunday at the NYBGardens. Hope to see you again with the group in NYC


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