Southwesternizing the Water Well


I guess “Southwesternizing” is a word! We’ll get to doing that in a minute, first we have to lay the tile on the courtyard floor. To begin, the entire surface is covered with several combinations of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + White. In this step I want to establish the light and dark pattern on the tiles. A few strokes of the darker red from the gate are made into the shadow area of the floor. This gives the impression the tiles are a little wet and the gate is reflecting down into them.


The lines separating the individual tiles are drawn freehand into the wet paint of the floor with a fine liner brush. I can’t use the mahl stick to do this, it would limit the movement of my hand and arm, preventing me from making straight lines.


The trickiest part of the floor is figuring out how the lines should go when they extend over the edge of the canvas on to the sides! Having the painting attached to a piece of cardboard makes it easy to take off the easel and lay flat in order to work on the bottom edge. To see how the canvas was mounted to the cardboard CLICK HERE.


A cheery sun face tile is mounted on the wall by the gate. You may click on the this image, or any of the others, to see them larger. 


The mixes for the terra cotta containers and tile roof are as follows: #1. MUD + Cadmium Red Light + a little Cadmium Orange + White. #2. MUD + Cadmium Red Light + a bit of Cadmium Orange. #3. Mostly MUD + a little Cadmium Red Light + a hint of Cadmium Orange.


After being covered initially with mix #2 the hanging container is highlighted with mix #1. The edge on the right side of the container, opposite the sun, is rimmed with a stroke of Ultramarine Blue + White. This helps to give the hanging pot the appearance of roundness. 


Now let’s give that old water well a Santa Fe touch. Southwestern motifs are carved into the rough beams and corbels supporting the roof.

VIDEO! Painting the tile roof of the old water well! The same mixtures used on the terra cotta containers make the tiles of the roof. Brushstrokes of Ultramarine Blue + White are adding on the tiles at the back edge to make them recede.


Heart shaped shadows from the vine cascade down the weathered support beams.


We’ll fill all of those containers in our next session. Grab your gardening tools and come help! HUGS,


One Response to “Southwesternizing the Water Well”

  1. Shirley Says:

    Like all your paintings, this one is so easy to “walk” into the scene. The simultaneous contrast you used with the blue-green watering can against the red door gives the can a 3-D effect. It is amazing to watch you create such depth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: