Domestic Buildings

T T Then painting peoples' homes we are not only recording the V V architectural structure and details of the building, but also sketching an aspect of somebody's life, noticing the eccentricities and personalised features that make a house into someone's home.

From the humblest hut to the most ornate of palaces, a home will reflect something about its owner. I have necessarily had to limit the subjects in this chapter, and so have chosen a range of buildings that I feel will be most useful to you in terms of the watercolour techniques used, when you are painting your own or other peoples' homes. Some of the buildings display quite obviously the individual characteristics of the owners, while others retain a sense of anonymity.

While the main fabric of a building will rarely be changed by its c* J o /

owners, the features such as doors, doorways, railings and windows can be altered quite easily and therefore allow residents to personalise their homes. For this reason I have devoted some pages to making studies of windows and doorways. Terracotta pots and flowers are frequent additions to urban and rural houses, and can add a welcome flash of colour to an otherwise dull wall. Also, look out for the decorative architectural elements — plaster surrounds and decorative brickwork can frequently be found in residential buildings, and are attractive features to paint.

The environment in which a building is set will also give clues to its individuality, whether it is the rural setting of fields, the leafy surroundings

Do not forget, too, the reality of the trappings of our age, such as the motor car. I will often include cars and vans, even traffic meters when they clearly form part of the composition. Obviously, we as artists have a choice to make as to whether or not they will enhance the visual quality of our pictures, but I do not always choose to move a parked car (artistically!) just because I am focussing on painting or sketching somebody's home. It might be the householder's car, and as such, probably deserves to be part of the picture.


Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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