Saturday, July 12, 2008

Puerto Vallarta Out of the Sun

Puerto Vallarta Out of the Sun 9"x14"

This painting was completed about an hour ago. I did all the painting today but the more difficult part was the planning and drawing which I had done about a week ago. I based this piece on a reference photo taken in March 2007 in Puerto Vallarta when I visited Mexico with Maureen and Stu McLellan.

We needed a rest break after riding the blue bus into downtown Puerto Vallarta, walking a few blocks to the beach area and visiting some shops. It was quite hot for Canucks like us... around 90 F I believe. We descended to the River Cafe on a wide, curving staircase which opened out in front of the restaurant. The relief of the shade was immediate and the fans felt wonderful as we were seated. We were in luck - Arthuro (an old friend of Stumo's) was there and he served us like royalty. After eating (delicious) we took our time looking around... what a great location beside the river. Just then one table of diners spotted iguanas lounging lazily in the huge trees above. As I looked toward the commotion I was drawn to this sunlit staircase in the corner. The light was streaming down through the shade of the trees and dappling the stairs and floor below.

For comparison I am posting the photo reference for you below. You'll see that I've used my artistic license to move the niche as well as adding the plant to the corner. I like how the greenery on the overhanging branches turned out - very soft. The left hand wall and the overhanging leaves were painted at the same time. After I laid a wash down for the wall I bled it out to white at the top with clear water. Then I shielded the wash and sprayed the leaf area and waited for the wetness to be "just right" before dropping in new gamboge/pthalo green (some mixed, some pure) with a little bit of ultramarine blue for shadows at the end. Then I sat back and watched to see whether the watercolor would do what I expected and, low and behold, it did.
Alrighty... this has been extremely long-winded. I promise I won't inflict this every day... Hasta Luego!
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Sharon said...

I love the way the trees turned out in this lovely painting. You really captured the sunlight. Nice piece.

Linda Edlin said...

Beautiful. I can just feel the shade. I love the way you subdued the lighting in your painting and added your own spin on the piece.