I snapped this photo a few weekends ago, thinking that it might be a nice reference for a painting.
Tonight I'm gathering things together for WC class tomorrow, and thought I might bring this one along to work on. So, I did a rough little watercolor and pen & ink sketch to map it out. I really didn't want the branches in the foreground, and wanted to leave out the tent and the signs.
Well -- this is a prime example of why preliminary or value sketches can be important -- especially if you're messing around with your references!
See. It just doesn't really work. There's something there that still has possibility, but I have to fiddle with it lots more. I knew that leaving out the banners might be a composition issue (for some reason that I can't put my finger on -- composition is my weak point, and I have the hardest time explaining WHY I feel like something does or does not work.) -- but I didn't DREAM that leaving out the branches in the foreground would make that roof look so ... so ... big. Huge. And I even tried to kind of squish it and make it smaller than is in the photo. It still takes up a fourth of the page! What the heck was I thinking? And the background - well I'm thinking it should almost be blank. I had thought that the dark bit on the right would balance out the gigantic roof, but I was wrong. And I didn't preserve a nice white sunlit pattern on the figures and the umbrellas on the deck, so they look like they're sitting in under an overcast sky and it is rather depressing. Still -- the figures and umbrellas... there has to be something that can be done one day with this.
What do you guys think?
Maybe something like this... But still with something more interesting on the roof and deck railing.
Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure that I have decided on something else entirely different to work on tomorrow. And since I took a pretty good reference photo to begin with for IT, there shouldn't be quite the problems that there are with this one.
P.S. Here's a little reminder -- I used a dip pen over the watercolor, but the went back into a couple of places with a little more color. THAT'S when I discovered that I hadn't used waterproof ink. Hence the ugly black blob at the end of the deck...