The boats at Pointe Claire Yacht Club will soon be in the water, judging from the amount of activity in the boatyard. Since I am not a sailor, nor a member of the club, I contemplated looking at the club’s website to see when launch day will be. But I stopped myself. I prefer to show up one day and be surprised to find them moored to the docks, all gleaming and polished and waiting to be painted (or sailed).
After a long winter, any opportunity to observe a bit of light and shadow outdoors, even on laundry day, is welcome. The two blue shirts were great fun to sketch, because of the movement, the stripes and the shadow shapes. It almost made me want to do more laundry, just so I could hang it up and watch it dry. Sketched in a Handbook Travelogue Watercolour Journal.
I love working with triads of primary colour because of the harmonious mixes you can get. Here’s a new triad of colours I’ve been testing out for painting brick — something we have a lot of in Montreal. Start with Quinacridone Rose and Azo Yellow for the reddish colour of the brick. The yellow adds a nice glow to the areas in sun. If the mix is too rosy looking, add a spot of Cobalt Blue. As you move into the shadow areas you want that warm reddish colour to move towards a cool colour, so add some more Cobalt Blue into the mix. It worked really well for my favourite row of buildings along Boulevard St. Joseph in Lachine.
All week I’ve been looking forward to painting a spectacular bouquet of flowers that’s on my counter — tiny yellow roses, a few long-stemmed red tulips, a fragrant hyacinth, and a giant, bursting pink peony. With a bit of free time on this rainy Friday afternoon I set myself up with a full palette of fresh colour and the best of intentions. But no matter what the angle was, no matter how I turned the vase, or stood or sat, nothing worked out for me. Bad planning, maybe? End of semester fatigue perhaps? Too ambitious a project after a long week? I don’t really know the answer. But what I do know is that the bouquet killed me and all I could muster up after many hours of frustration was a monochromatic still life. I guess some things are just too beautiful to paint.
Lucky me. On two occasions during the day, friends walked through the door with flowers. And it’s not even my birthday. Since I only got around to sketching this evening, I started with the daffodils which are more open and may not last as long.