It took immensely longer than necessary to finish this painting because…snow. I did three different versions of the snow and the light falling on it before I finally hit on this one. I had scoured the internet looking for photos of light at night that would work with this particular house and was having zero success. So why didn’t I just go back to the cottage after the foot and a half of snow had fallen this month and take some more photos? 1) It was closed up for winter, and 2) even if it hadn’t been, I had no desire to stand around in near zero degree weather waiting for just the right moment. I already had good photos of the house with snow on the ground, I just didn’t have any kind of dramatic lighting.
This painting was cobbled together from a full daylight photo, night photos with lights on taken in summer from a boat on the lake, and dusk photos taken also with the lights on. While these photos worked for the lit windows (I had to cut them from one photo and paste them into another in Photoshop) there was no dramatic reflective or emanating light because what was coming from the windows just wasn’t intense enough. It was up to me to make something up.
At my wit’s end, I mentioned my predicament to a friend. She is a realtor, and just by chance she thought she had the perfect photo of a lit up house and snow right on her phone. It turned out she was right. It had just the right light-to-dark perspective and sequence, although not the color. I didn’t care about the color, I already knew what I was going to use. Just needed a road map to lay it down properly.
So, the last of the four cottage paintings is complete, my client is ecstatic, and I am too.