Toronto Outdoor Week – Day One

This is my seventh annual Toronto Outdoor Week of sketching and painting. We visit a different park or historic site every day. This morning, we met at my studio and I gave a demonstration on mixing varied greens using a fairly restricted palette. After that, it was a short drive to High Park. This lovely park is about half the size of Central Park in NYC. I did a ‘shape-read’ (no preliminary pencil drawing) watercolour sketch and used it to discuss some thoughts about foliage. Take a look at the demo (below left). I’ve added a diagram with commentary, as well.

A) This yellowish shape is the first one I painted and it connects the left and right sides of the image. Later, I added a few marks inside the shape.

B) The pathway on the left is light pink with a touch of blue. The grass is mostly green but I warmed it up at the top as it appeared dry. Should the path and lawn be more distinct from each other?

C) The limbs of the tree on the right are almost orange. I wanted them to be very inviting.

D) The background is quite dark but with a window of distant light. The tree trunks in the window are light in value and don’t jump forward.

E) The orange trunks are darker against the light bush but lighter against the deep green foliage above and below.

F) This dark bluish trunk was painted directly over the background wash.

G) This leafy area is the only spot I went over with a second and, maybe, a third wash. Did I fuss it?

H) The fence went in last. I used a purple with a few darker blue/black touches.

This is a small painting but gave me some good ideas for a potential larger sustained work. Tomorrow, we’re painting on Ward’s Island, across the harbour from downtown Toronto.

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2 Responses to “Toronto Outdoor Week – Day One”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Great commentary. The way you handled this was very effective. One of my favorite memories is of Toronto. We were luck enough to be visiting friends on a Canada Day and were able to view the fireworks display from their boat with the coordinated music playing from other boats around us. Very special! as is High Park!

  2. Barry Coombs Says:

    Fireworks from a boat sounds very special. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to Toronto. Shall I save you a spot in next year’s workshop?

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