by Armand Cabrera
I was in California this last week teaching a private one on one class with one of my students. We had a great time and painted all the sites around the central coast there in Monterey and Carmel.
One morning was spent at the mission. The property is still active and has tours all day long but we picked a spot against a wall to paint out of the way of the crowds.
I started with a careful drawing made with my number four brush and a thin wash of paint. The first thing for the drawing was to establish the longest axis of the mission ( in this case the Dome and tower) within my picture plane, this insures everything will fit into the picture. All my subsequent marks will be measured against this as proportions of its height
Once my drawing is done I check it and correct any inaccuracies before starting to paint.
Because I am looking into a bright foggy sky I establish my dark areas to keep me from painting the mission walls and foliage too light.
Next I work on the middle tones throughout the painting at this point in the day the fog is starting too lift and I have to bounce around the canvas more than usual while I wait for the light to stabilize.
I paint the larger shape of the plaza and paint the shapes of the details on the mission, leaving the rendering of their forms for a little later.
Carmel Mission 12×16 oil on linen.
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