Adventure Sketching: Alleys and Rivers



I like to paint from my everyday surroundings. Recently I took my sketchbook and gouache out to paint a couple of spots in Cincinnati.



Acryla Gouache 5″x8″

This alley way is one that I pass everyday on my way to work. I was really attracted to the extreme contrast of the dark sides of the buildings in the alley, and the almost blinding white light that poured in. I used a relatively small palette of Viridian, Ultramarine Blue, Carmine, Deep Yellow, Burnt Sienna and White. I wanted to capture the overall warmth of the sunlight with the small pockets of cool tones that flooded the shadows.


Gouache 5″x8″

The river was particularly active, with a lot of people out on their boats and walking through the park. I wanted to include the Robeling Bridge in my view but keep most of the focus on the various boats that were moving up and down the river. Again I kept my palette pretty small, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Sap Green, Alizarin Crimson, Ultra Marine Blue and White. My goal was to capture the intense warmth of the scene by using the warm earth tones across the whole scene and only using cools in very select portions of shadows and reflected highlights.