Church Painting on Varvarka Street guys. 

I was going to do a stop-motion animation of this painting with Instagram's new video feature (jury's still out for me on that one), and I had taken seriously like 40 still shots, from when the paper was blank until this shot right here:

This is when Tim texted me and asked me how things were going, so I decided to send him a progress shot.  Little did I know that using the camera outside of the Instagram app would cause me to lose ALL my hard work.

Down the drain.

So, fellow Instagrammers:


(P.S., if you're not following me on Instagram yet, then you should be. I'm super awesome!! And I love new friends!! And I don't overpost!! Find me at @dani_stratford.)

Still a work in progress.  One of the things I always try NOT to do but always invariably end up doing is over-working or cluttering the painting.  There's something really beautiful in simplicity, but somehow I can't bring myself to simplify these gorgeous churches.

I mean, let's face it--I'm already not doing them justice as it is.  They are MUCH prettier and more detailed in real life.

And this is as far as I got on Tuesday. This is three hours of work, and I still have a lingering sunburn on my neck and arms to prove it.

And would you like to know how big this piece is?

It's probably about 5" x 6".  Maybe 5 x 7."  

After three hours, a burning neck, and an aching back, I decided to call it a day.  I really don't like doing that when I'm plein air painting (painting outside from real life), because sometimes the shadows and colors can really change on you from day to day.  Not to mention, you get quite a momentum going and interrupting that can sometimes cause big problems.

When I went back today, I refined a couple of the details on the brickwork and went to town on that golden dome.

I could not be more amazed at how well it turned out! I really surprised myself.

I mean, I did a little bit of gold work for the other churches, but this particular dome was one blended watercolor wash--not smaller squares that were much more manageable like the other ones.  And the colors have to blend juuuust the right amount--too early, while the paint was too wet, and they would just muddy and mix into one color; too late, and you'd find lines and separations forming.  But hooray! It turned out beautifully.

The othet two domes turned out okay.  I know this is just me being nitpicky, but I can't help but notice every time that they are slightly different shapes.  But maybe it's only something I notice...maybe?

I think I like the green dome on the left better.

A couple of finishing touches on the crowning underneath the green domes, and voila! Finished.