Friday, February 17, 2012

Cavalia big top, St. Louis

Often the best way to paint an object is not to paint it all but rather paint the shadow shapes that define its form, especially the colossal pure-white Cavalia big top.  The shapes and their edges, some sharp and some softly diffused( referred to as “lost”), created by cast shadows constantly change as the sun travels its inevitable path across the sky. Cavalia, featuring 60 horses, acrobats and performers in their downtown St. Louis run opens March 22. While  I don’t have plans to attend the show yet I do want to sketch this visually intriguing structure again.
Cavalia Big Top, 02.17.2012(my birthday); Michael Anderson,  Conditions: 55F, sunny. On location sketch time: 1 hour. Watercolor, waterbrush on Canson 140lb cold pressed, 7″ h x 9″ w.


  1. First off: Happy Birthday! (only a bit belated) What a great way to spend a birthday: painting! Beautiful rendition of a fantastical structure. Painting the knockout blue sky and the rosy & ochre buildings on either side really make those spires pop. Thanks for the link to the show, too.

  2. Oh, how cool--and happy birthday, indeed! Love those shapes, at first I thought it was Denver airport!

  3. Happy Birthday! I love the crisp blue sky as well as the big top, nicely done. The info about the time and conditions etc. is a great addition, thanks.


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