Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Santa Fe Adobe and Development Steps.

Santa Fe Adobe

6x8in oil on canvas panel $125.

The color of the adobe clay is extra marvelous
in the snow. Adobe comes in many different
shades of earth colors according to the area and
type of soil it is made from.

Artist Note.

I always place a piece of glass over a photo reference
to make sure it can become a painting beyond just
copying a photo. 
Here are the steps I took in developing the painting above.

This old adobe has had
an addition
added to the top of the
house. The vigas -
(wooden posts) show
where the original roof
must have been. yes,
they pop tops in the old
adobe houses too!

Placing the glass over
the photo I paint the
roof line where
I want it to be.

Next I turn to the

I am establishing
the colors of the

Then the gate color

Trees maybe?
and shadows

Because it is on glass
I can easily wipe off
and try something else.
It is important for me
to use my imagination
and try different colors
and ideas.
From this last  one I
arrived at the one above
changing to the horizontal
format and adding snow and
gray sky.

I sometimes bring out other reference photos  if I am
not sure. On this one I had some pics of the foreground
chamisa plants in the snow.


  1. Brilliant Julie! I never have seen this approach used with a photo reference before. I can't wait to try it out.

  2. Thanks for sharing your process!
    I love how this one contain all possible contrasts, warm/cold, long flowing lines/short bursts, a lovely painting.

  3. Wow, you took a photo that I see as very flat and created a work of art full of depth and color. This is an amazing process. Thank you so much for sharing. I still get caught in painting what I see. This is a great demonstration for getting beyond that barrier. Wow.

  4. How creative- I love this sketching on glass idea. I've done a bit of something like this with an acetate sheet, Now I have to try glass- thanks for your creative, sharing self!

  5. Great idea Julie, I will be trying this meself :) Lovely Adobe, beautiful colours :)

  6. Very wonderful art work and very interesting to see all the steps of creation on glass !!!
    Have a nice day !!!

  7. Goodness! A great idea and a gorgeous painting is the end result. I just never pictured snow in areas of adobe homesteads. Interesting dichotomy, Julie. I love the palette too. A winner on all levels!

  8. Very clever, Julie! You continue to amaze.

  9. What a great creative process. I'll have to get some glass and give it a whirl!

  10. A very interesting process, Julie with beautiful results!! Love it!

  11. Julie, this is a wonderful idea. Thank you for taking time to share. You are one clever lady.!

  12. Your painting is exquisite Julie. You took so much time to show us the process of painting over the glass...thank you. I would never have the patience because it would mean I had to paint it twice (for me anyway), but this idea always seemed so brilliant. I think I remember you mentioning it before. I imagine it makes doing the actual painting much easier because a lot of your problem solving is done on the glass instead of the canvas.

  13. Wonderful to see your glass process and the idea of using the photo for "reference" and not being tied to to it!!! Beautiful painting! Was thinking of you last weekend saw a show at a local museum on the Santa Fe Art Colony.

  14. Great painting! What a brilliant idea for creating a painting too. I think it would be a valuable exercise in letting go and experimenting without fear! Thank you Julie...once again for sharing!

  15. Wow!! What a great way to experiment before the painting process!! I love this!! and I do love seeing your thought process as always!!

  16. Another mini workshop from the wonder girl. Julie, you are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

  17. Thanks for the reminder of your brilliant glass technique, Julie! Your painting far outshines the photo in beauty!

  18. Really interesting to see you develop this from the reference. Such a good way of getting there.

    Funny, when I saw the painting, I recognized the gate as one I had walked past in Santa Fe.

  19. Julie - what a super idea...your painting is amazing. Do you get much snow in Santa Fe? I know so little about New Mexico except that from your paintings it must be a very beautiful place to live.
    Thank you too for your sweet comment the other day on my blog. I just think you are a very special lady and a truly gifted artist. Take care and have a great week.

  20. I love this picture, those lovely blue notes amongst the warm colours of the clay, gorgeous!! Thank you for the great tip concerning the use of glass. I'll try it next time I paint in acrylic. Bit tricky with watercolour though!!

  21. Thanks for providing information on how this beautiful painting came together. I'm very eager to try this technique!

  22. Wow! What an interesting technique with the glass.. thanks for sharing.. and such a beautiful painting as a result.. love it!

  23. aren't you the clever one! I will try this. I really love how you "spun off" of the original image. 5 Stars!

  24. I have seen you do this before and I thought it was a very clever idea. I like the process of changing things and checking that out prior to get started. And I like too what you said about using your imagination to envision just the right composition and to not necessarily go with what is right in front of you. I like that decision making aspect.

  25. I've seen you do this before and I think it would be so helpful. I haven't tried it yet, but I will. Do you do anything to the glass to prepare it to receive paint. I love the painting. The colors pop and the composition is wonderful. That's what the glass is for isn't it. Super.

  26. An exceptional demo, Julie, describing how one can alter a scene to create something quite different. For me, your process is so sensible and forgiving because one swipe is all it takes to make changes. How freeing!!

  27. I liked the way you put together everything, there is certainly no need to go any further to look for any additional information. Adobe Support


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