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Pffft OOOH OOOOOO Hello pimps? Hello, I'm Nancy Kaminsky, today we're going to paint the last three in tauter down. These are three derelict houses that I used to
see on my way to the studio in Bristol, England. Very, very, very unusual painting. Let's go right into our canvassing the canvas with the usual burnt umber and kerosene. There we are, wipe it off. I'll pick up a little blue from another painting, not to worry. Now our grids, in quarters first, divide the canvas in quarters like this. Now this painting is a good example of finding something that you want to paint and painting it in your environment or wherever
wherever you are or whatever you're exposed to. And if it does something for you then you paint it. And that to me is a very satisfying painting. I kept seeing these houses every single day for three years and one day I said we're going to paint that. There we are. Now this painting is again we have an example of eccentric composition and the houses are over in the corner instead of in the center. This is again unusual in that we have to balance these houses in the corner of the ruins of another house because this is exactly what happened here. I think it was a heavily bombed, as a matter of fact Bristol was heavily bombed during the war. It was a very old port in England and Bristol. It's a beautiful little city. I love it. Now we have a very nice hill because you're
looking up into these houses like that. Now to draw these houses we're going to do this. And this is a lovely little thing to do. There again we're using a general shape of our objects on a angle because we're looking up into them. This may be a little high. Let's lower this a wee bit like that. And don't get your houses too large because we want the feeling of them being a little distance. Do this first like this. Then you separate them like this and then you put the roofs on like this like that. Now this also has a side naturally so we're going to do that like that. Now you see you have three houses quickly like that. Now you can see part of the roof like this. This one you don't see but these
you do. They have lovely old-fashioned brick chimneys. Usually two. I remember this is taller and this is shorter because it's in a distance. Don't fuzz with those too much. I would like to clean this up a little bit because I want you to see this a little clear. I'm going to make that a little darker so you can see it. There we are like that. There. Now that was painless wasn't it? Didn't hurt a bit. Now we have one window. I remember one window and then a window and a doorway like that. They always look like eyes when I would look up into them because there were not the pains were out and it looked so full-horn. Now on the side here we have a row of houses luckily on the other side of the
hill so we're just going to see the tops of them like this with their little chimneys. This will be done in purple and very much in the background so please don't fuzz with them. Now there are there were another row of houses here but I want to simplify this painting so where there were bushes here I simply made them a little higher. That's taking artistic license. Incidentally there was a bit of a brick wall here broken down brick wall crumbling I should say and there were some bushes all along here like this like that and then we had as the hill and that another group of bushes and so on here like that. We will shade those in the moment but for now leave them and this goes down that way. You get the feeling of it going this way. Now in the corner as I've mentioned
earlier we have the bricks or the ruins of another house and we start up here like this. This is very very close to us. This is part of a wall up here part of a wall and then the bricks start immediately like this. They rather come in like little steps. Now this will take a little doing on your part to create the feeling of a jumble of bricks and yet being able to see the bricks. This little wall goes down rather like that. It's a bit of a plaster wall and bit of a house like that. Now in front of that going down the hill are some shrubs and so on. It really isn't very much you can do in the drawing. Color will do it for us so don't fret over that. Now we have these bushes here and if there again let's bring this up a little more this way. We're going to draw a mess
first. Our lights and darks will tell us the shape and the size. Now we have one here like that. We have a very interesting sky not much but it is an interesting sky and incidentally when I was drawing it a flock of birds came on cue twice. I was so thrilled on the side so which we will we will put those in at the very last. I want to clean this so you can see what we're doing. It's very messy there. There we are. Fine. Now we have the feeling here of some more little bushes and things greenery and the houses, the birds. It also has a telegraph
pole right here. I'm going to put it in but most likely it will come out when we do the painting but then we will add it again and the wire goes across like that. Now that's all the drawing we do. Actually it's very simple drawing and if you know how as I showed you with the houses it's not that complicated. We remember always draw a general form of your subject first and then delineate it. You keep out of trouble that way. Now that's it. Now we're going to shade it. The light in this case is coming from the from the right. So we're going to shade the front of the houses. Lightly. Please don't have it running. I tend to do that. Now don't worry about the windows as you know there are all these things are added less when the paint is wet with a little purple so don't fuss. Now because the light is coming down this hill we're going to darken the shrubs on
that side. Like that. Here like this. Now in the bricks it's very dark here but there's also a little light coming through here. You see so some of those will be lighter down here. Again the shrubs are darker in spots because there is light coming through like that. It doesn't come just up here. It comes all on the right side. Oops. I picked up some green or a few but doesn't matter. A little premature there that green but it's going to be green anyway so don't fuss. Now also this is the bottom of the hill and as it curves down we get very little light and we're going to shade that. I want you to do
that. Like this. There again we have tall grasses. Now originally when I saw it the first time it had green grasses. This was a hill of tall green grasses but because I didn't want green green green which will have dominated the painting I made yellow grasses. I painted yellow grasses. Before I left England with the drought and what have you we discovered that the grasses indeed were yellow but in any case these are artistic problems you have to solve yourself. You see how dominant that green would have been across the whole front. There we are. I want to keep this light. Let's keep this like this enough to get the wall. Now the drawing is finished we're going to do the
painting. As usual we're going to start it to horizon and we have very little sky so you must be very careful and I don't want much light tone because I'm going to bring a few dark areas very lightly over it. Let's start with the light tone like this. Be sure you go around these. You don't have to worry about them too much if you knock them off. There's usually we can use purple and bring them back. Watch your houses though because they don't want to go through this business again of trying to find your houses. So try to preserve the houses if you can't. If you do no calamity you can get it back. You see there's a little sky to play with. I'm going to bring this down just a wee bit like that fine. There. Put some middle tone in there like that. We're going to add a few dark tones. I just got
paint on my arm but that's nothing new. I had a doctor in one of my classes. He never got one spot on him. He sat there the whole evening wiping his fingernails and his fingers to get the paint off. He turned out marvelous paintings. I was so jealous I couldn't stand it. There. That's our sky. Leave it alone. Now let's do the front of our houses. This is again a gray down color. Incidentally there were really this very strange color. We start with a dark tone like this. Dark
medium and light even on these small houses like this. The middle tone and then the light tone on the on the right side because the light is coming from the right. Like this. Now I'm going to put the roof tops on and they are an old red brick color which they actually were. It was interesting. That's outlined
the house, the roofs first like this. Put the little lighter tone on the right side where it's getting the light like that. We're going to outline that with a little purple. You're very sure that your roof is right. Put a little purple under the eaves like that. Between the houses and we're going to put our chimneys. Please do not fuss with them because they're not very big. Actually they're props. There. Now let's put our windows in. There we are. Now we go to the side of the house here which is a very light tone because it's getting a full
light also. There was another house there so it's all the most white but not white. There are still marks and scars from the war in Bristol. When I worked there, I was fascinated by the tales that the cab drivers told me. I must say that British people are fantastic. They've taken a real beating in the war. Very marvelous. Let's bring this down a little bit. I think it's a bit weak here. Now there are derelict houses. Thank goodness. Between old Rome and derelict houses in England, we're hitting all the old spots and maybe that I
did it for a reason. Now let's go to our field next. We start with a light tone. There is our wonderful, wonderful color. Before we do that, let's do our little houses here in purple like this. What's that line that like that? There shouldn't be two deathets. When they go up into the sky tone, just not them fuzz a little bit, because they don't want them too perfect. They really look like that. I was so happy they were over the hill, I tell you. Besides, we want to talk about those houses. We want to talk about these three houses. Now let's go back to our grasses. We start with a very light tone because the light's coming
through there. We have our stroke again like this. We will work this alternately with a very light tone here like this. To the medium tone, as we go down the hill, it gets a little darker to the dark tone like this. Now you can see why. I didn't want to make a completely green hill when we get into the greenery a little more. Let's continue. I'm here. Now I'm going to say this hill is a bit much. I was looking at it from the bottom of what they call old bath road. This will give the feeling of tall grasses and parish forbid that you should try to draw each blade of grass. I know I did it myself. All these
things I tell you, I did them in spades when I was learning. So I'm telling you not to do the things that I did. Just do as I tell you. Keep the top of the hill light. It's much more exciting because we get the feeling of light hitting through there. You see? Now we will do this of course because it is going down the hill. I don't know if you noticed. I lost my bushes, but we'll get them back. As you know from experience, we never lose a painting. Go into your bushes a bit so that you can come on the outside. Incidentally, this is casting a shadow here. So we're going to bring our light tone up through
here like this. This brick wall or the ruins of this other house. We're casting a shadow on the grass. I would like it a little bit more yellow here to get the feeling of this wonderful light coming over the hill. I have some light tones coming into the dark area because some of the grass are catching the light. They're taller. It's not completely dark, but mostly dark. There we are. Let's go to the right hand side and go to this peculiar wall here. Let's do the old plaster wall first. Like this. A bit of blue in that and work it this way.
It's old plaster. It comes down between the bricks like that. Now let's start our brick work. Let's start with the dark tone. This is quite dark like this and they are uneven and go into the plaster bit like that and we will bring in some middle tone like this. We're going to outline that in purple in just a moment. You see my crisscross stroke? It goes like that. This way and some will be lighter here as the light comes in on the right and down behind the bushes and that's the end of that.
Now I don't recommend while you're learning that you do a lot of field painting because you're not experienced enough to be discriminating in a choice of subjects. I find that most beginning painters choose impossible subjects and then of course they have a very bad result and they become discouraged and don't paint. I mean no desert scenes with dancing Arab girls and camels and all of that and let me tell you one other thing. Keep away from children and animals in a painting. I mean show business they said children and animals are fatal to actors. They're fatal to beginning painters too because you have to be good to paint a child that looks like a child and animals can be impossible. I find animals still impossible for me. Keep it done. Now let's go to our greenery. We will start on the right dark tone first
and our little rather packing stroke like this. Middletown and go up into this a little bit like that because I'm sure it's got a little greenery and things that have grown up between the bricks. Pat it in and let's put a little purple down here this way. It's very dark in that corner like that. Let's bring this out a little more because I lost it. Actually I didn't. I lost it on purpose. I'll put our middle tone on top of that and we'll pat it in this way. I'm going to pat some light tone in on that to show that there's a wonderful light coming
through here that way. Not all over it just in areas. Keep it very dark at the base down here. Now let's go to this area. The dark green tone is over here and in the light tone like this. Let's put a little purple down here like this and here our brick wall here like that. Get a beautiful light tone like this. Let's put these bushes in right in front of the houses dark. Pat them in like that. The light tone on the right
and of course I would like to add a bit of dark tone down here and we have a couple of little tiny green things here in the middle to break up the long expanse of yellow. You see everything has a purpose in painting. Now we have a lovely telephone pole or telegraph I guess it called. I've been working out of England and the United States now that I have to change my speech a bit and I can't remember where I am half the time. Fine let's put our pole in. Yeah that was painless wasn't it. Little goodies on the outside.
Don't forget the shadow and then it has we have a few birds, little ones, tiny ones please. That was so marvelous. I was so excited when I was so the birds and I thought goodness I wish they'd kind of get a bye-bye they came again. It's marvelous. I just put the finishing touch on this wonderful view of these old old houses. Now that's our penny for today and now for the signature. Good bye for now. This program was made possible by a grant from Commercial Union Assurance Companies.
Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky
Episode Number
Last three in Totterdown
Producing Organization
Connecticut Public Television
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Nancy Kominsky teaches viewers how to paint the last three in Totterdown.
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Fine Arts
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Moving Image
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Host: Kominsky, Nancy
Producing Organization: Connecticut Public Television
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Library of Congress
Identifier: cpb-aacip-09604f2698c (Filename)
Format: 2 inch videotape
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Chicago: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 123; Last three in Totterdown,” 1976, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 123; Last three in Totterdown.” 1976. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 123; Last three in Totterdown. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from