Church Painting at Novodevichy Convent

Do you realize we have less than a month left in beautiful Moscow?  I can't believe it.  I really need to get my butt in gear and just spend all day painting! You don't realize how much time you have wasted until you start running out of time.  Boo.

Anyway, here are some pictures from my latest painting adventures.  I decided to go check out Novodevichy Convent (which turned out to be an awesome idea, as most of my ideas usually are).

The convent itself is just beautiful.  It's a haven of sanctuary in such a busy city.  There are gardens and parks surrounding the convent, and once you get inside the steep red brick walls, you can't hear any noises from outside.  It's just peaceful and beautiful, with lush green trees, beautiful flowers, and, of course, stunning buildings.

You can look at an aerial 360 view here.  Don't you wish you were visiting me?

I walked around for a while, trying to find a good place to sit and paint.  It's considered gross to sit on the ground in Russia (if you saw how many spat loogies and cigarette butts there were around here, you would think it was gross too--not to mention the fact that Russians think that sitting on cold ground will make you infertile), so I kept looking for a bench. They didn't have very many, and the ones they did have were either in the direct sunlight (just say NO to sunburns!!), too close to the church, or had the view blocked by a huge tree.  I have never been more annoyed with trees.  Seriously, did they need that many? Jeez.

I finally did find one little bench, in the shade, but it was facing away from the church.  Grr.

It had a great view of a little building, though, that I'm pretty sure was a small chapel to honor a dead saint or honorary person.  It was small but still had a beautiful golden dome, so I decided to paint that instead.

All sketched out!  The lines on the dome seriously took three or four attempts.

I like to block in all of the same colors at the same time, so that they are consistent from area to area.  Otherwise, you might find yourself mixing the paint a different shade or a different lightness or darkness.  It allows the whole thing to be a lot more cohesive.

I don't know what is going on with my iPhone camera, but some of the shots seem really blurry and halo-y.  I'm going to get it fixed when I go back to the States, but it's driving me nuts over here!

I had just gotten to this point and was sooooooo close to being done altogether when it started sprinkling.  At first, I was okay, because I was sheltered by one of those pesky trees. (Suddenly they didn't seem so pesky anymore.) I tried to finish off a couple things, but decided instead to start packing up.

It was a good thing I did, because a couple minutes later, the sprinkles turned into a downpour.  I finished putting it all away in the nick of time, and ran under an alcove in a nearby church.

There's the bench I was sitting on...drenched.

It looks even more beautiful in the rain, though--doesn't it?

And at least I had a good view for waiting out the storm!

Luckily, I had finished 95% of the painting by the time it started raining, so I was able to finish it without having to go all the way back for a few minutes of work.

All done!