Daytime in the Courtyard: A Demonstration

Earlier this month, I was invited to do a painting demonstration for Mrs. Bess Jernigan Desta's class at Huntsville's Grissom High School-- thoroughly enjoying group presentations as I do, and relishing an opportunity to answer students' questions, I quickly set to work designing a composition for the class.  The above photo of Bess and me shows the painting by the end of the presentation. . . the lines of the composition were established, and I had begun to block in some of the darker areas for contrast. 

 During the middle stages of the painting process, I added complimentary colors and continued to establish highlights, mid-tones, and shadows.  An abstract of this kind relies heavily on composition, line, color balance (a science in and of itself), and contrast. . . while the composition is based on a row of buildings with balconies and a courtyard setting, I wanted to convey atmosphere rather than individual objects or "realistic" architecture.  Moreover, as with all of my abstract pieces, I wanted it to be stylized enough to be a world of its own, a catalyst for imaginative exploration.

For me, adding finishing touches often means cleaning up or reinforcing lines and colors, brightening areas, blending mid-tones or softening transitions between shadows and highlights, smudging brush strokes as I see fit, or even adding areas of thicker paint for texture.

The completed piece [above] will dry over the next few months in a cool room, away from dust and humidity, then I will apply a coat or two of protective varnish (which also further brings out the colors and gives paintings a lovely sheen).  Daytime in the Courtyard, painted with a mix of water-based oils and acrylics, makes a bold statement with its warm orange/mustard base, splashes of electric green and tranquil blue, and large size (30X40).  If you are interested in this piece or any other featured on my blog (or if you have any questions regarding my work as an artist in general), please feel free to contact me via E-mail or the Christina Wegman Fine Art Facebook page!