©2010 Steve Penberthy, This Is Not a Song
Watercolor on Arches 300-lb CP paper
9" x 14" (23 x 36 cm)
I was out sketching with the St. Louis Drawing and Painting Meetup Group for the St. Louis Public Library's "Not So Quiet!" lunchtime concert series. It was a scorching-hot day, and the midday sun heated things in typical St. Louis summer fashion--it was 94 degrees and extremely humid.
This painting depicts a few members of the Bottoms Up Blues Gang band setting up their equipment. Once they got set up, they did a quick sound check where the singer repeatedly sang "This is not a song, this is not a song, this is not a song, this is not a song" while the band warmed up with a three-chord blues progression.
I wanted to paint this because I was struck by the blazing-white umbrellas installed in this downtown plaza area, which provided shelter from the sweltering sun for the people who arrived early to get a shady spot (including me).
For this painting, I used a limited palette of raw sienna, burnt sienna, perm. alizarin crimson, ultramarine deep, and Payne's gray. The shadow areas were created by mingling the alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue together on the paper wet-into-wet, which allowed the colors to mingle on their own. I feel like I achieve a satisfactory color harmony that pulls everything together.