"A Place to Sit" | 12" x 9" | Oil on canvas panel
Available at KimVanDerHoek.com
©2014 by Kim VanDerHoek
If you read my last post about the workshop I took with artist William Wray then you know I learned a new approach to painting. In the workshop I created a painting of a gas station that William helped me a bit on by making adjustments and suggestions when I got stuck. I finished it with about an hour to spare before the end of class. Painting time is very precious to me since I have two kiddos at home that need a lot of my attention and I wasn't about to give up the chance to get started on another painting while I had a peaceful studio space to work in so, I started the painting you see here.
In class I only managed to get the initial drawing done before it was time to pack up. I'd hoped to get William's input on it but he was busy helping other students. I took it home and worked on the rest of the painting there.
I am including my reference photo which is a friend's living room. As you can see, the finished painting is very different from the reference and that is a huge lesson I took away from the class. You can see I omitted a lot of information, paring things down to what I felt were the important elements like the chair, window, sofa and coffee table. During the painting process I had a couple of other elements like the door behind the chair in the painting and a picture on the wall behind the lamp but, they were distracting and I removed them.
I choose a specific color scheme based on something William said in class which was selecting colors that are opposites on the color wheel. Orange seemed appropriate since the sofa is that color which meant blue would be the opposite I would use in the painting. I knew I wanted the light in the window to be my lightest value and it needed to frame the chair which allowed me to keep the wood parts of the chair very dark. It also helped me decide to keep most of the values a bit darker than what you see in the photo to add to the feeling of brilliant light in the entering the room.
Another thing I tried was working on a dark gray toned canvas, something I rarely do that helped me key the values I was after. An added bonus is that you can see the gray peeking through some of my brushwork.
It was a fun exercise that I would approach a little differently if I had it to do over again, which I may or may not do, but I did learn a lot in the process.