Building a Painting 3 – "Mission Hills Tall Palms" (study)

This painting was a small study, inspired by a quintessential Southern California bungalow I saw beneath some very tall palm trees in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego. I was interested in particular in the way the light plays on the surfaces and the feeling created by the sky and light and palms.

(Note: the colors can vary from shot to shot because of lighting and white balance variations with the camera.)



The first source photo.

source 1

(photo 5/10/'07)


Taken four days later, this one has some interesting clouds, different lighting. I went back on different days and took photos under different conditions. I wanted shadows on the front of the building, textures, so had to do it just the right time. I also liked the shadows on the wall.

source photo 2

Notice that the palm in the middle, behind the house, is gone? I photoshopped it out!

(photo 5/14/'07)

stage 1

Stage 1
Draw the outlines, Paint the sky and clouds. Work on the tall palms. I experimented with doing some Wayne Thiebaud-type color highlights in the palm leaves, partly in order to capture some of that wonderful sparkling fresh sense of light one gets looking at these palms in the sun, glittering in the breeze.

stage 2

Stage 2
Begin some of the lower parts – the sycamore and fig tree.

stage 3

Stage 3
I painted the rest in one furious 3-hour session in order to loosen up the style and to practice painting in a faster more spontaneous way.






















© Eric Platt 2007