Near Perfect Spring Days, In May, In Florida...

9:58 AM

...are about as rare as hen's teeth. We've had days and days of wet weather for the last week or more. We finally had a reprieve yesterday and was it ever fabulous! The temperature dropped and even better the humidity dropped to make it a fantastic day.

Breezy, cool and low humidity is a Floridian's idea of a perfect day. Chris and I decided to have lunch at one our favorite places to eat, a little Greek taverna so we could sit outside and enjoy the weather.

Huge cypress trees in big, big olive-style pots sit around the area as a privacy screen and wind break.

Acropolis Greek Taverna Cypress
Watercolor and Ink
Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook
5.5 x  8.5 inches
The cypress in the sketch above sat close to the front door and made for the perfect opportunity to sketch as I love the mellow colors of the bricks behind it. I sketched a bird nest from the same place in this post.

Have you ever seen a green brick before that wasn't painted? Probably not. But if you look at the bricks above, I have a few. This is called embellishing, it's one of the "5 E's System" I teach in the Imaginary Trip classes to help artists learn to sketch on location.

Embellish means just that—to embellish what you see with colors that may not be there or may not be very obvious. Embellishing can be subtle or quite obvious depending on what the art calls for.

When we rely on photos for the majority of our sketching references, we sometimes forget that a camera is limited in the colors it can "see," versus what our eyes and more importantly, our imaginations, can see.

Try adding some "extra" pop to your work by embellishing with some unexpected color and see what you think. Let me know how it goes!

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10 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Love green bricks whether they are in my mind or on a building. :) Enjoy your weather. Here it is still rainy and cool.

  2. That sounds like a delightful place - I do love Greek food! Your weather is envious too. We've had nothing but rain and fog for a week. Love your page, and the green bricks!

  3. I just love painting brick/stone work. I'll be sure to think of adding other colors instead of just burnt sienna, burnt orange etc. Greek/Mediterranean food is probably my most favorite.

  4. Lovely sketch as usual. I have a hard time 'seeing' colors that aren't there for the pop. I tend to just paint what I see. No imagination I guess. :) Not to rub it in but we have had the most wonderful warm spring days the past week. Except for the nasty wind and rain storm late yesterday, but it was back to 77 today.

  5. Once in a while I add something but not too often. Mostly I get caught up trying to recreate rather than create.

    Glad you had a nice lunch on your nice day and had time to paint too! Adding colors to the bricks is not what I would have done probably but something I hope to remember to do now!

  6. I forget about adding colors that aren't there too, but when I do remember, I usually like it. Sounds like a nice day with your hubby. I like all your brick colors. Nice sketch.

  7. loving the brick wall, and the potted cyprus. Sounds like your luncheons are very memorable ones.

  8. Interesting.... I think my husband, son and I were enjoying dinner in a local Greek restaurant on the same day. Love the food! I also love your 5 E's! Great reminders for me, and the newest one 'Embellishing' is a great 'poke' in my side to be more adventurous!

  9. Laure I took several of your imaginary trips a couple of years ago. It really helped me get back into doing watercolor after a long absence. At that time I didn't have a blog to share my art on, but I do now. On a recent post about my water color journal I included a link to your tutorials. They have been so helpful to me I wanted to share them with others. I hope to take one of your classes again. Glad they are still going strong and you continue to offer new ones.

  10. laure, we are missing you!!


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