September At The Lost and Found

…edges, that is. Our master class theme of the month is lost and found edges.

My submission: This month’s sketches were done in pencil and crayon. I was drawn to moody landscapes from photos.

Sketches 1 and 3 feature snowy scenes where edges come and go as tree trunks, buildings, and roads cross snowy fields bisected by fencing. Sketch 1 shows overlapping fencing while sketch 3 shows the scene through the fence. The color schemes could be in grays and blues, or changed to something quite unrelated to snow.

Sketches 2a and 2b are meant to show a mysterious, somewhat menacing nighttime urban scene where street lights cast strange shadows; and a light in back of fencing (?) casts faint stripes of light on the buildings, sidewalk and street. The values would be darker than I put in my sketch, but I found it hard to color over gray. I was thinking about de Chirico’s architectural paintings as I sketched.

Elizabeth’s response:


Sketch 1

Snow scenes are perfect for lost edges, as the snow drifts over objects and light values spread from one thing to another…also at the beginning and end of the day, the trees and their shadows become one object….the bottom of the fence  dissolves into shadow
In the sketch above, the one thing I’m not sure of is the building on the left…it adds a lot of weight to the left and I think distracts from the beauty of the man made geometry of the fence versus the natural relaxed geometry of overlapping branches.  Just put  your hand over the bld and I think you’ll see that you don’t need it.
As with anything using perspective, be sure you have the angles right….


Sketch 3

I do love the color scheme…BUT we shouldn’t be thinking color till the shapes and values are worked out.  Remember that rounded things like tree trunks with a side light gradate gently from almost white to very dark.  I like the idea of the landscape beyond, but keep it very soft…your highest contrast of values is actually in the background at present so I’d soften that dark line and also slightly darken the road/river…so that you can keep the real dark and light in the trees.  Also at present you do have some very dark values…but they’re towards the edges of  the piece – my eye keeps going down to the LH corner for example…
I like the line quality – the little squiggly branches…remember to lose them too!


I like de Chirico’s mysterious empty spaces too…and lighted windows onto an empty dark street definitely is evocative…but I wouldn’t have the door quite so central.  At present it’s a black hole right in the middle….put it a little to one side, and further up or down…and then connect it with shadows to the base of the building.  With a night time scene you have lots of opportunity for deep shadows hiding edges…go for it!!

Conclusion – I’m going with the urban street scene, but it’s developing s-l-o-w-l-y. Here’s as far as I’ve gotten.

mean-streets-startI need to work out the direction of the shadows, which means figuring out the light sources.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process

2 responses to “September At The Lost and Found

  1. I took art history 100 years ago and still remember de Chirico’s Melancholy and Mystery of a Street! I’m so glad you’re going with that inspiration!

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