Monthly Retrospective: April 2024

April was a busy month for me as I gear up for my move!

Plein Airpril

I attempted a plein air theme month but didn’t do it as much as I had planned. My first three weeks of plein air sketches can be found in my weekly reports (week 1, week 2, week 3). After that, I did a couple more.

Other Paintings

Other than that, I only painted five things! Because there are not many I can go more in-depth on each one than I do when I have a large gallery.

Photo to Painting: Sunset Radio Tower III

Sunset radio tower. April 1, 2024.

A tribute to the (belated) three-year anniversary of my taking up painting, in March 2021, when one of the first things I painted was this radio tower in Cambridge, MA. This one is more painted from life (through a window) based on a highly specific pretty coral/blue sunset with clouds.

Here are all the versions of this radio tower I’ve done over the past three years, each about a year and a half apart.

While I still struggle to paint straight lines – I actually think the micron version from 2021 is most successful – I can see improvements in my water control. You can also actively see me pivoting toward more muted colors in the most recent iteration.

Poppy Balser-inspired Hazy Coastal Sunrise

Hazy coastal sunset, from Poppy Balser’s class. April 9, 2024.

I did some thumbnail sketches in Poppy Balser‘s class. The one I liked most was a hazy, coastal sunrise, so I made a larger version. This is done with a minimal Poppy-style palette of DV Cobalt Blue, DS Quin Red (PV19), Holbein Raw Sienna, and DS Indanthrone Blue (in place of Poppy’s Ultramarine Blue).

Photo to Painting: Maple Flowers

Walking around Cambridge on a day with majestic, mountainous stormclouds and intermittent showers, I loved the glow of the sun-drenched lime-green maple flowers against the stormy lavenders of the sky. The photo was taken from too far away from the detail I cared about, but I used a combination of observation/memory and the photo to zoom in.

Photo to Painting: March Sunrise

The vibrant peachy sky colors from this window snap, taken at sunrise in March, inspired this simpler photo. (Had I taken it in April, there would be flowers on the tree!)

Hannah Pickerill’s Desert Scene

This is from Watercolor Wanderlust by Hannah Pickerill. I tried to work around lack of Indian Red (which is not in Hannah’s palette and was on my temporary cut list) but finally concluded that Indian Red just is a convenient color for red rocks!

Photo to Painting: Golden Hour Swallows

I did this partially from life, through the window. (I added the swallows.)