Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 6 April 2014





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Painting houses and buildings

You cannot avoid houses and buildings if you are painting landscapes. You must learn to make them look convincing and portray the texture of the material such as bricks or thatched roofs, tiles and stone walls.

One of the most common faults with texture is over working. Some amateur artists believe that it is necessary to indicate every brick on the wall or to show every tile on the roof. They take hours painstakingly and needlessly, painting row after row.

It is necessary to show details in small parts of the wall or roof and viewers will fit in the rest themselves. They accept that without thinking when looking at an object or a scenery when they start painting.

Let us start with the basic construction be it a house, a temple, cathedral or a tall building. You have to mentally strip it of all its trappings, decorations, details and regard it in its simplest form. Combine this thinking with the basic rules of perspective and you are in business. Once you got these simple shapes looking right, you can start adding details such as windows and doors. Once having got your basic drawing done, next thing you have to think about the light and shade.

The usual fault is that not enough thought is given to lighting and as a result the building looks flat and anaemic.

It seems fairly obvious that if you can see two sides of a building one should be darker than the other lighter to give it solidity and depth.

Using very dark areas on a house or a building would always make it look dramatic. Remember the darker the shadow the brighter the adjacent parts appear.

Do not neglect the use of smaller incidental shadows such as the shadow under the gutter to show up the edge of the roof or under the window openings to give depth. If the light at the time of painting is not bright you can use your imagination and intensify the shadows, as long as their direction is consistent.

An interesting and potentially lucrative sideline is house portraits in watercolour. It is always fun and enjoyable to portray a countryside residence with grand curved drive with lush green trees sweeping up to the front entrance.

Notice the painting of a front view of this house.

The top of the tree is painted in several tones of green always on the dry background. The tree trunk is painted with burnt amber. Railings are defined by the darkness of the shadow behind them.

The back light means that light zones are clearly defined in two areas; one completely white and the other where the shadows gives form to the planes and darkness. The drawing paper used is Kent with a slight grain and brushes Nos. 6, 8, 2 and 4 Sable hair.


LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lank
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)
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