Painting-in-Progress: The Old Croft House

A few weeks ago I did an on-location painting of an old croft house. There were some issues with perspective (which is something I have to really think about) but overall I was happy with it. And I thought I’d internalised where I’d gone wrong with the perspective, having consulted the in-house art critic for whom perspective is easy.

Croft House step by step painting

I’ve been thinking about this old house and doing it on a bigger canvas. A few days ago I got out a 100x100cm canvas and put it up on my easel.

I didn’t do thumbnails in my sketchbook (even though I encourage you to do so!) but just played them through my mind as I sat looking at the canvas. And then all of a sudden yesterday afternoon I was struck by a desire to start, and sketched in the composition with an acrylic marker pen, then added orange and yellow to the “not-sky” area.

I then painted in the “sky area” with blue and white, cleaning my brush of the blue into the foreground (where it’ll create a colour connection across the composition and work as a shadow colour) before adding some yellow (which with the blue on my unwashed brush and the still-wet blue on the canvas mixed to greens) and then some white to get the lightest green.

And this was when I realised I’d made an error in the perspective on the cottage. Not like a little mistake, but totally the wrong way around. At least I’d noticed before the in-house critic came along. So I forced myself to slow down (no point getting the sky and foliage working before the house), to think it through from the basics and redraw the perspective.

I edited one of my snapshots on my phone to draw some lines on it to help me. The lines aren’t straight because they’re done freehand; if I’d been using editing software on my computer I’d have used the straight-line tool. (Click here for the original photo if you’d like to have a got at painting this too.)

Using a rigger brush and Prussian blue (which is what I’d used in the sky), I redrew the house.

And then I continued to “just add paint”.

The “rusty roof” colour is created with Prussian blue, titanium white, cadmium orange, and magenta i.e. I added some magenta to what I had already been using. Notice how I’ve also used some of this elsewhere in the painting so the colour doesn’t sit isolated on the roof only.

This is where I stopped painting for the day and went to check my perspective with the in-house art critic, who saidthe back wall of the house needs straightening but overall only a little bit awry.

This photo is to show you that I had my on-location painting in view whilst I painted.

4 Replies to “Painting-in-Progress: The Old Croft House”

  1. Hi Marion, I have just sent your photo ” Just Add Paint” to our art group which I am trying to run as a virtual art group., I think it will make them smile if nothing else. B

  2. To help with perspective, imagine where your eye-line would be if you were standing in front of the building. Any lines above this, in this case the roof, will go downwards. Any lines below your eye level, I.e. the base of the building, will go upwards. Lines on your eye-level are horizontal.
    Just like your in house art critic I love perspective…… does he do tuition? ?

    1. He’s been trying to teach me for more years than I care to remember… I know the theory, but it warps as my hand draws the lines.

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