Venice Canals (in an impressionist style)

"Canal" 9 x 12 chalk pastel on grey toned Mi-Teintes paper
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I tried to keep this one light and loose-- it was on small paper. I've painted this subject before, with acrylic on paper in one of my classes at UCR. In that attempt, I was focused on pattern and texture, and had a much larger piece of paper as a surface. Knowing from experience how much "information" there was in the reference photo, I reminded myself to stick to my basic impression of the place and not muddle around in the details. Keeping a light touch and focusing on lights and darks helped me do this.

I took this reference photo a few years ago along one of the canals in Venice, California. As a child, I often heard my grandmother reminisce about living in Venice and visiting the canals. Every few years, we'll make the drive out there to walk along Venice Beach and have lunch. The last time we visited was the first time I got to see the canals, and I was enchanted. I would love to be able to walk into my backyard and hop into a boat for a little trip down a canal. The bridges and rowboats also reminded me of Monet's paintings, so of course I had to take a bunch of pictures.

On a side note, another great city with canals is Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I'm a little nervous about those canals, though. I'm terrified of alligators (or any other creatures with sharp teeth under dark water!)

Click here to see more paintings of California scenery:


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