Landscape sketching in BostonPosted: June 29, 2016
It seems like a landscape sketching workshop in an urban setting like Boston would be unlikely, but I am just back from two days of teaching with the Newton Watercolor Society. The first day of the workshop took place in Auburndale Cove, a bucolic setting in a suburb of Boston, complete with a shaded park, Canada geese, waterlilies and great river reflections.
Even though it was a day for sketching landscape, for my first demo I couldn’t resist drawing a house across from us on the Charles River. The shadows cast by the awnings on the white clapboard were so remarkable, so dramatic and so sharp that I had to paint them first. That’s not my usual way of working. In fact in my online class Sketching the City I go into quite a bit of detail about how to add these in near the end of the sketch. But since they were likely to change quickly and they were on a white surface, I painted them first and then proceeded to paint the rest of the page.
During a long workshop day I like to do a second demo, and I’ve discovered lately that a good time to do that is at the end of the afternoon when students are tired and quite happy to sit and watch. This second demo is usually something less complex, perhaps a smaller vignette or a closeup view — on this day some waterlilies. If I had been quicker with my camera I could have also captured a family of ducks that silently swam through the scene while I painted.
The day’s paintings by the group were immensely successful and of course the day ended with the obligatory Urban Sketchers photo of everyone proudly displaying their sketches.