I did an oil painting of an old church called Union Chapel over the weekend. It was a perfect day for painting, clear and sunny, and cool but not cold. There was pretty heavy traffic on the road behind me, so it wasn’t exactly quiet, but I had a great time. (My dad took the photo — I think he’s becoming my painting buddy. It’s fun to have company. And my husband brought our three boys over at the end. My middle son wanted to start painting himself right away and was a little disappointed that I hadn’t brought supplies for him this time.)
As you can tell from the photos, I simplified by leaving out the parking signage, the bell post and the light, and I also shrunk the large shrub on the side of the building and added a path in front to help balance the composition.
I have heard it said that when painting on location outside, you should not “chase the light” as it changes with the position of the sun. I’ve also heard, “Don’t chase the light — unless it gets better!” In this piece I ended up thinking that the longer shadows later in the day made for a more interesting image, so I worked them in.