More Plein Aire Close to Home

"Californa Cottage"
9 x 12 chalk pastel on paper
Original Sold
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I have neighbors with beautiful houses; we jokingly say we're the poor folks on the block. Buildings have always presented a challenge for me, though, so I've been a little shy about painting houses in general. Still, I'm getting pretty comfortable with plein aire, which makes it easier to take risks.

One thing I tried to share with my students who were intimidated by drawing and painting buildings: keep it simple. I've found that if I limit the details that require perspective, I can focus on the things I enjoy most: value, shape, and color. I would love to be one of those artists with a knack for technical prowess and accuracy, but that would mean giving up my impressionistic style. So, I'll just stick to simple representations of structures and admire the more realistic, detailed architectural works in my free time.

This house has always looked pink to me, but was for sale for a while and may have been repainted while it was on the market. The view in the painting is just the top floor of the house; if I had included the whole house, it would need a different name. As it is, the house in the painting has a cozy, nestled feel with all the trees around it, so "cottage" came to mind.

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