"All About the Ice Cream" final steps!

For a description of steps 1 - 9 see my previous entries.


Step 10:

To complete the top right hand side of the parlor I built the values of burnt sienna, magenta, and blue in the same manner as the previous step. Again, I added additional lines to suggest the brick pattern and lifted some color to suggest grout.


Step 11:

Moving down to the bottom half of the parlor and street, my first goal was to save the light. I masked the tables, chairs, and people to save their whites and then applied light washes of yellow where light flooded from windows, doors, and lamps. I also applied light bright washes of color on the awning under the neon sign (yellow, blue and pink). I began layering light values of color on the children and statue.


Step 12:

I continued strengthening the values on the bottom portion of the parlor, street, statue and children. I applied layers of yellow, blue, and magenta to the glass doors. Time to suggest a bit more brick detail on the lower parlor portion in the same manner already used. I used a toothbrush to spatter dark blue on the lower left section of street, creating a bit of texture. Pleased with the values achieved, I lifted the masking fluid.


Step 13:

Finally, I painted the tables, chairs, and people being sure to save plenty of flooded light. For my last step I sprayed a light layer of blue across the bottom portion of the painting. This redirects the strongest light into the painting and adds a bit more depth.


As always, I thank you for the opportunity to share the development of this painting! ~Jean

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"All About the Ice Cream" next steps...

For a description of steps 1 - 6 see my previous entries.


Step 7:

Time to begin developing the parlor itself. Again, since this is a large piece, I chose to paint the 2nd story of the parlor first. I applied the lightest and brightest colors in dilute washes to capture the colored light flooding from the neon sign onto the parlor. Colors used here; new gamboge, opera, scarlet lake, and peacock blue. I also painted the portion of the neon sign that reflects as a mirror image on the upstairs window. These colors were the same as those used in painting the sign itself but I stayed a bit lighter since the sign, and not it's reflection, is the focal point. I applied light washes of new gamboge, magenta, and cobalt blue in the far right window staying light in value to suggest indoor lighting.


Step 8:

Once dry I followed by applying additional layers of burnt sienna, cobalt, and magenta to the parlor brick. These layers helped define the recessed and raised brick work and further defined the glow from the sign.  I developed the Geo. E. Pew Company building signage using a mixture of burnt sienna and cobalt blue.


Step 9:

I continued to increase the values of burnt sienna, magenta, and cobalt on the top left side of the parlor. Once the values were strong enough I added the suggestion of brick by painting proper perspective lines in appropriate colors (yellow, orange, red, purple) and then carefully lifted some of the burnt sienna brick base color to suggest grout.


Close up:

In this close up you can see the brick detail which is really just a suggestion and not overpowering or too heavy handed!


Now, on to the top right to continue building values and suggesting brick detail. Stay tuned for additional photos and descriptions as I continue developing this painting.

Thanks once again for looking! ~Jean

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"All About the Ice Cream" continued...

For a description of Steps 1 -4 see my previous entry.


Step 5:
Since this is a full sheet painting (30” x 22”) I decided to continue making progress developing the background elements. For larger pieces I like to paint from the top down and from the background to the foreground. To save a few more whites I masked the left hand side of the parlor below the neon sign, the outer margin of the sundae sculpture (including the children), the street lamp and banner, and a few branches in the trees. I used a sponge to paint the trees choosing the progression of light to dark colors; green gold, sap green, hooker’s green and royal blue. Next I used a negative space painting technique to add the brick portion of the buildings behind the trees, being careful to carve out and save the lightest portions of tree foliage. I mixed puddles of new gamboge, burnt sienna, permanent magenta, and royal blue to do this and alternated washes of color for interest, emphasizing light across the building top near the street light. I painted the First National Bank sign, being sure to keep the values softer than the parlor sign since this is secondary in the composition.


Close up:
In this close up photo you can see the masking fluid edges used to save the white of the paper for future development.

Step 6:
I removed the masking fluid and painted the street lamp and banner. I softened the hard edges around the lamp and added more yellow for glow. I painted the banner using colors you’d see during daylight but then washed over the entire banner with royal blue. I developed the branches in the trees being sure to save light on the right that would be flooding from the parlor windows. Just for fun I painted very light layers of color to define the ice cream flavors in the sundae sculpture. Anticipation!

Stay tuned for additional photos and descriptions as I continue to develop this painting.

Thanks again for looking! ~Jean

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"All About the Ice Cream" Original Watercolor in progress, 30" x 22"

This September 2011, my watercolor works will be on exhibit at the Le Mars Arts Council. Le Mars, IA, home to Wells, Blue Bunny, is known as the ice cream capital of the world. The company recently moved their beloved ice cream parlor and museum to the historic George E. Pew building (circa 1875) on Central Avenue in the downtown district. The new parlor opened in June during the town’s annual ice cream day’s festivities and to say this new downtown jewel has been a buzz ever since is an understatement. I decided I would try my hand at developing a watercolor of the new parlor. If I can do it justice, I will exhibit it at the Arts Council next month.

I began by taking several photographs of the parlor. The bright neon sign spoke to be a focal point and convinced me the painting should be a night scene. As luck would have it, I was able to capture two children exuberantly climbing upon the outdoor sundae sculpture. Now the painting would come alive!

Step 1:
I sketched a perspective drawing of the parlor, including the sundae sculpture, children, and their parents seated at one of the outdoor tables. I included the suggestion of the parlor’s business neighbor, First National Bank, further establishing the new downtown site.

Step 2:
I repeated to myself several times, “perspective drawing is not the boss of me.” Luckily, my dear daughter Annemarie, a graphic design student at Creighton University, shared a tip she learned at school for checking perspective lines. String! I used this tip to confirm my lines converged correctly at the vanishing point off the page.

Step 3:
I masked the building roof lines to save the white paper on these structures. I mixed creamy puddles of cobalt blue, royal blue, alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna to achieve a night sky. I painted the night sky using a wet into wet (wet the paper first) wash technique.



Step 4:
After drying thoroughly, I removed the masking fluid and painted the neon sign. Since this is a focal point, the use of bright colors, bright whites, strong darks, and detail will all aid in drawing the viewer’s eye. I chose permanent yellow, opera, scarlet lake, and peacock blue to paint the bright colors of the sign.



Close up:
The lettering was slow going but the end result was well worth the persistence.

Stay tuned for additional photos and descriptions as I continue to develop this painting over the next couple weeks.

Thanks for looking! ~Jean

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