I don’t usually copy other paintings, preferring to come up with my own creations, from life, photos, or my imagination. But, my wife has some favorites, and as the dominant partner in our collaboration, insists that I do my interpretation of some of her favorite paintings. This country estate, on an old calendar that she refuses to throw away, is one of her all-time favorites. I’ve done a small version, that she sketched, and which is a fairly good copy, but she wanted a larger version, so after some argument, I caved and let her sketch it and put the sketch on my easel. She’s pretty good at sketching, but has a problem with linear perspective. She made the house too large, had the curve of the path wrong, and made the umbrellas all the same size. I ignored those problems as I painted in the sky and background, and began putting in the dark trees at the right. Here, I’ve put in the dark trees on the left, corrected the size of the umbrellas to give a sense of distance and size in what is obviously a garden in front of the house. I did an under-painting of the path, and right away she saw her mistake, so that’ll have to be corrected as I begin working on the foreground. Here, I’ve added curve to the path, painted in the flowers, and done the over painting of the path and painted in the shadows. It’s beginning to look better, although she’s now upset with the size of the house. It doesn’t help that I told her at the outset that it was too large. This is the final painting. I’m not unhappy with it, but you can bet she’ll want more changes, so I’m likely to have to over paint large portions and redo it significantly, so stay tuned.
Source: Painting a country estate