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This is my attempt at a domestic scene where I can get the chance to add some people and explore the tones and colours of a Parisian Cafe.

The first stage was to sketch out the scene and get a composition I was happy with. I used a straight edge to make sure that I got things like the floor tiles looking ok.  The photo isn't great but I sketch very lightly, and then use a fixative so that I don't smear the graphite when I paint.

 

 

Step 4. I've skipped a couple of steps since they didn't really show anything anyway. It's been a slow process but as usual I've started up in the top left corner. I think the 'proper' way to do it is to block in the whole painting and then slowly add the details. But since I've never had any lessons I don't know any rules, and if I don't know the rules then I can't break them. Anyway it's my painting and that means I can paint it any way I want, so there.  By this point you can see I've got the ceiling and the dark edge of the wall done and made progress on the door and trying to capture the reflections in it, as well as what can still be seen through the glass. Once I'm happy with that I'll try adding a sign on the door.

Cafe Step 2Cafe Step 2

 

Step 7 - Again I've skipped ahead a few steps because they were really much of the same. Small progress on most days, it's a time consuming way to paint but I think something like this would overwhelm me if I tried to do it all at once. As it is I made a pretty major screw up when I got the tops of the shop windows completely out of alignment. It amazes me that I didn't see it until I took a break and had a quick look before going to bed. At least I spotted it before carrying on and compounding the error so it didn't take too long the following morning to stretch one window up and squish the other one down. I'll show both the before and after steps below and  you can see for yourself where I went wrong. Duh!

Step 7 BeforeStep 7 BeforeBefore                                                                                          AfterStep 7 AfterStep 7 After

 

 

Step 8 - Not much to add here... The weather has been too good recently to be bothered being indoors and painting but today it's been blowing up a storm outside so I managed a couple of hours at the easel. Just carried on filling in the canvas across the top. I've blocked in the windows across the street but need to let them dry so I can add some details like the sills and also some railings and maybe a deck box for flowers or something to add some colour up there. I also fixed up the arched doorway and made a start on the awning of the store on the right hand side. Once that dries I can add a name using white paint.

Cafe Step 8Cafe Step 8

 

Step 9 - All I've done today is add some pedestrians out on the street, tomorrow will be good to add some detail and reflections in the store windows plus some railings on the upper windows. Hoping to be able to get this finished this week while the weather is too cold to be outside in the garden.Cafe - Step 9Cafe - Step 9

 

Step 10 - or somewhere close to 10. I haven't been able to devote much time to this painting recently so there's not much progress to report over the last month or so. I had some trouble with the girl at the table on the right.  Took several attempts till I could say I was happy to put the brush down, even so I know it's an area I'm going to be tempted to go back to until I finally get the whole thing finished and signed. I don't really have that much to do now, just the tiles and some dark areas under the tables but I start a new job in a few days and I have to travel to Australia for about a month so who knows when I'll get this finished.

Cafe-10Cafe-10

 

Step 11 - I took this photo the night before I left for my trip to Australia. I liked the way the empty table with the menu turned out. Once I get home I need to put something on the other tables. The girl is  obviosly enjoying something so I need to give a bowl of soup and maybe a bread basket to go with it.

Cafe 11Cafe 11

Step 12 - Big push to get this finished now, I seem to have been looking at it sitting on the easel for months. Time to put some tiles on the floor and rough in the chairs.

Cafe_12Cafe_12

Step 13 - And I'm calling this one done. In this last photo I've done a tiny bit of colour correction in Photoshop as I noticed that the camera is producing a cooler image than I painted.

Cafe FinishedCafe Finished