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Remember this post?  The above painting is what I came up with. In the long run, I like that I used rough Arches paper. I think it gives a softer and more aged look to the subject material.

I have included the steps I took in creating this:

Special considerations had to be perspective and all those little tiny detailed things.

I splattered the roof and street ( areas that were hit with bright light ) with friskit I used friskit to save the lettering on both blue signs above the store.  I painted in initial large washes on the roof and the street to define the light. I had to darken a window or two because all that white paper was driving me nuts!

I then painted the greens surrounding the building.  I used a loose squiggly  pointillism working wet in wet so the colors would blend some.  I worked on that red bench and a few tiny things.

Then the detail work began. This took forever. There is no shortcut! I thought about loosely painting this in with abstract little shapes and color that runs together, but the subject really did not call for that. I think the intrigue with this restaurant is the general store atmosphere and all that detailed clutter under the entryway roof.  Each piece required special attention because just one flat color was not going to shape it or make it look real. The windows were fun to create wet-in-wet. I also liked creating those double wooden doors in the center. I used very tiny brushes!   #’s 1, 2 and 4 rounds. Oh yes! I painted the chimneys, paying special attention to the shadowed and the light side.

This step was finishing all the detail under the porch roof as well as darkening areas of the main roof hit by sunlight.

 Finished Painting

This step involves tieing everything together.  I noticed the shadow under the porch roof had gradually appeared lighter and lighter as I added the details and more color in each step.  I painted the lettering on the signs above the porch roof and the color in the two hex signs. I could not get that tiny lettering perfect, by the way. Hand not steady enough, brush not tiny enough and an artist who does not care about perfection.   🙂     I used white gouche on the Coca Cola sign, to brighten areas of the “ice” box, the “Fish Fry” sign and the white legs of the red-topped table on the porch. I removed the frisket splatter and washed some red into some of it on the large section of roof.  What a great learning experience this was. Patience was the “key”!


  1. Wow, you did a fantastic job on this one, Leslie! I love all the fine details and colors.

  2. Leslie, this is so beautiful! I love all the attention to the details! What first struck me was the beautiful rich red of the roof! Then I wandered all throughout the painting and fell in love with every bit of nostalgia you captured. This is truly amazing!!!!

    • The red roof was the most unsettling to paint, too! I think it was hoping I achieved the color closest to the true color red of the place. Thank you, Beth!

  3. This is really good. I love how you give all the step by step process. I love the detail. thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you, Louise. Thank you for liking my choice to include the detail. I needed to hear that from my visitors.

  4. Thank you for sharing this process Leslie. I love this painting; every detail is so much a part of it. If I came across this shop I sure would love to have a look inside too 🙂 .

    • This is in Michigan in the U.S. I am going to have to go sometime. I painted this for a relative from a photo. Thank you, Hannekekoop! 🙂

  5. Again, I’m amazed at the realness of certain aspects of your paintings. This time, I’m looking at the ice machine – even down to the “ice” on the letters! Good work, Leslie. As usual.

    • I’m smiling, Amy. Can you see that? The ice machine was the item that drew me into the whole scene when I looked at the reference photo. Thank you for this comment!

  6. Sweet! Such a lot of work. Such detail. What an accomplishment!

  7. I am stunned by your patience.. but it really paid you grandly! I love the all the minute details that you did with precision.It is a beautiful work by you Leslie!

    • I am stunned by the fact that I had enough patience to not get rushed and ruin it in the end Padmaja. 🙂 Thank you!

  8. Leslie, I think this is beautiful and brilliant. Oh to be able to paint like this! This is the kind of place that would have me pulling in and exploring a bit. I love that there are still places like this to find in the world.

    • Now that I’ve painted this place, I have to go too! It is located in Michigan. Traverse City. Thank you, Sherry!

  9. This painting brought up wonderful memories of how things were as a child. You captured the essence of an old country store and drew me in.

    • Perhaps it is because we were in and out of places much like this with Mom and Granny? 🙂 Maybe that was why I knew I needed to include all the little detail. Chuckle. 🙂

  10. Leslie, I already posted a comment before somehow it must not have gone through. I love this painting. The red pops out. Looks like a charming country store. I came across a lot of charming houses and stores before I started painting seriously. Now I regret not having taken photos then. Missed opportunities…

    • I don’t know what happens when our comments get lost, Raji, but thankyou for taking the time to write another. I know! I peruse old photos all the time and wish I’d taken more of where I traveled. 🙂

  11. It’s totally great! It looks almost like an altered photograph, you know the kind where you take a real photo and painterize it? The ice machine is still one of my favorite parts. but also all those great tables and benches and that nifty fish fry chalkboard. Terrific! I hope you are happy with it. You should be! Hooray for progress pics! Oh also, I like that dark greenish kind of color in the windows. So neat!

    • Ha! The ice machine is one of my favorites, too. Isn’t it great how life gives us something of interest to lead our eye through the remainder of what we see? That was what the ice machine did for me in this scene, Cindy. …and thank you to you for noticing that fish fry board was a chalkboard!!!!! That was an element I stressed over! 🙂

  12. Incredible work, Leslie!!!! Love that bright red! 🙂

  13. Beautiful work! This place makes me think of summer, the red is fabulous!

    • You know? I agree with you, Anne. This is a definite on summer. Thank you!

  14. Very beautiful, Leslie. And thank you for showing the process.

  15. Very nice and it has a luminous glow about it. The detail would probably overwhelm me right now. Trying to practice patience!

    • I have to smile at your comment, Linda. Detail always overwhelms me 🙂 . I have to admit that I get to a point that I begin to like it. Usually, it is about halfway through the painting and I haven’t messed up yet. Thank you for the visit and the comment!

  16. Hi Leslie, beautiful work. I know you struggled with this one and said patience was the key, but in the end, it all worked. I really like the heaviness of the awning which gives me the feeling that it’s been shading that spot for a long time. I love the iconic ICE machine. And I always like your foliage. It has a distinct “Leslie” style. This looks exactly like one of those old stores you’d see in a small town.

    • Oh man! I sure did struggle with this one. I even considered splattering it with water like the technique you are using, but thought perhaps the people who commissioned this may not like it. When I get done with this next class on masa paper, I want to dry to do the water splatter with one of mine. Your painting surely inspired me to try. My favorite part of this is the “ice” machine that seems to draw the eye in. Thank you!

  17. This is amazing, Leslie – and, to my eye, very different from your usual styles. And I love that red!
    Sorry I’ve not been around much.

    • Hi Val,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by and comment. I am trying to work in the abstract once in awhile. It is a refreshing change from what I normally do and I am always surprised by what comes out on the paper.

  18. Looks like an old-fashioned general store. I love this Leslie…you did a fantastic failure on this one! I’m glad I came across this one on my first visit back in awhile…I took a break from blogging. Nice to see your work again. 🙂

    • I have had challenges in my life to try and get to my friend’s blogs. Family circumstances have slowed me down a bit this year but am hoping for a full return at some point in the near future. Thankyou for commenting on this painting. It took me some time to complete this one with all the detail.

  19. Hey Leslie – thanks for this inspiration to paint in spite of challenges. What a great project! I also love all the RED!!!! I love the feel of this place – Fish Fry, Coke and Ice (cream???) mmmm – now I am all hungry…

    • You make me smile 🙂 , Stephen. I thought the same thing about being hungry while painting this. Thank you for the comment about the “RED”. I played around with reds on a scrap piece of paper until I found the one I thought would be best. Red is scarey in this amount!

  20. Leslie, the painting was for my husband, Dale. He will probably contact you too. Caroline and I went all the way through school and although we lost touch for a while, finally got back together. Dale and I love the painting. We are trying to decide where we want to put it in our house. Probably in the living room where everyone can see it. That was so sweet of you and Clint and Caroline to do this for Dale. He just loves things like this and we really appreciate it. We did go there when we went wine tasting with Clint and Caroline. It is a really unique place to see, inside and outside. If you get a chance, you should try to see it. Thanks again. We love the pic!

    • I am honored to have been asked to try to paint this for you! What a challenging experience. If I was on a day outing and saw this place, I would most certainly stop and visit this store. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is thrilling to know you like it.

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