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I began this painting several months ago. I guess I was anticipating summer and warm weather. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could render these Victorian beauties in some way. I do not consider myself very good at drawing and painting buildings. One thing I know I do not do enough is insert little people or animals into my landscapes. I get so caught up in the “thinking” part of putting landscapes together that I never include a story; and I like stories so much better! I used two separate reference photos to come up with the neighborhood and another for the “little cowgirl”. I made up the older person at the top of the stairs and modeled the dog’s form after the boxer who lives across the street from me. I can remember a time when those red boots and hat would have been my prize possessions, not to mention a man’s best friend to spend the summer with!

Little People are fun to paint. Here are a couple sketches to ad to the mix:





  1. Boy this is a beaut, Leslie! Thx for the tip about the people and the story. I’m working on landscapes and that’ll be useful. (Let’s see if I remember lol) Anyway, I love your Victorian houses. Love the blurriness of the bushes, drawing the eye to the focal point as well. I love the way you suggested the shingles too, and the eye just fills in all the detail. Wonderful!

    • I have been very interested in your ventures into watercolor. You are starting much the same way that I did years ago! It is so much fun and you never stop learning new things as you go. Thank you for this comment, Laura!

      • Awww, thank you, Leslie, and I’m so glad you shared that with me. There’s hope for me yet if you started out the same way! I so admire your work! I’ve fallen head over heels for watercolor. I just feel like a lovestruck teenager. Even though I feel it’s the most challenging, it just keeps calling and I have to answer. I seem to have no choice. Again, thank you for your visit and comment, and thank you too for sharing your lovely work with us! Have a great night!

  2. Hi, Leslie ~ what a nice story your painting tells of place and people and furry friends, too. I admire how you handled the perspective and shadows, and your colors are very crisp and cheerful.

    • Thank you Sand Salt Moon! The buildings were a chore for me but the people were fun!

  3. very nice

  4. That scene fits the fantasy of the house I wanted to live in when I was a child. Very evocative.
    And the musicians are wonderful.

    • Me too!. I just want to go in and explore! I would not want the repair bills, though. Thank you, memadtwo.

  5. A happy painting indeed and a lot of story for the imagination.

    • Thank you, Gretchen. I so often am so into the rendering, I forget about the story…. Maybe I can get myself painting some more of these.

  6. Totally creative Leslie – love the worlds you created in these paintings.

    • Thank you, Mary. Love your beach scenes you have been painting!

      • Thanks Leslie – really appreciate it!

  7. Love the “Lazy Summer” feeling you’ve created Leslie!

    • That’s what I was aiming for, Jen. This looked so much like that mid summer heat and sun that rolls in. Thank you!

  8. Wow! Amazing buildings! And to think, you thought you were not good at buildings, I think we now have clear evidence to the contrary! Plus yes! You are so right about the story and the tiny figures of parent, child and dog are brilliant! But mainly I am such a fan of the beautiful architectural details. Wow (again)!

    • I’m usually not. Oftentimes they lean with no reason because I didn’t include the look of a strong wind. Ha! I guess I could have said they require so much more concentration on my part. I have tried blocking them in but my mind gets in the way and says, “more detail, please”. Then it becomes the age old struggle of how much because too much can just turn out boring. I do have to begin to include figures in my landscapes from time to time. Thank you for your comment, Cindy!

  9. Leslie, if you think you don’t draw architecture well, then I never have a chance of doing it! This is just amazing!! i love how the suggestion of the bushes really makes the architecture stand out. I will file away the idea of making little people sketches in my mind. I have looked at this painting every day since you posted it and i have learned so much from your skill. thank you and thank you again for the comments on my blog and your encouragement!

    • Ha! Ok…. What I should have said is that I really have to work at architecture and that it does not come easy. I usually end up with a lean or have tried to include too much. I don’t know. Guess I am still trying to find balance with buildings in a landscape. I am beginning to collect little people in photos I take,from newspaper street scenes, wet canvas city scenes, that includes them, and placing them in a folder to dig out when I need them to suggest a pose for any given painting I may work on. Thank you, Rachel!

      • Collecting photos of people is such A great idea! I may do that too. At this point i don’t do landscapes as much but i can see them in my future.

  10. I don’t know what you’re talking about. You paint buildings beautifully! I love these Victorian homes. The looseness of your painting on the bushes and hedges is wonderful. That little kid with the red boots and the dog are adorable. And I also love how you did the windows in the home on the right.

    Your people are always perfect and fit into your pictures to add more to the story.

    • Thank you for that about painting buildings, Carol. I need to include people more often. Maybe I have been too lazy. I so enjoy seeing paintings with people or animals in the landscape.

  11. I love these Leslie. They have summer infused in them.

  12. The Summer sunlight is apparent in these paintings – I really like the composition in the main image and the way that the carefully detailed buildings conrast with the looseness of the foliage, also how the figures bring our eyes back into the centre. The figure studies are also very evocative of balmy weather, which seems to have already disappeared here in England. As someone who has never attempted a landscape or building, yours seem more than alright to me.

    • Thank you for this comment, June! You always seem to mention the things I have thought about as I create a painting. That is exactly why I painted the foliage loosely (to provide contrast). It has been super HOT! this week, here. The girls and I have spent many days at the pool. 🙂

  13. These are lovely, Leslie. I don’t know why you don’t think you can do buildings. The people add atmosphere. I thought of the person at the top of the stairs as grandma waiting for her granddaughter. I wish I could do people as well as you do.

    • You can do people as well as I do. Your work with your son running has been very good! I think the most difficult thing for me to learn with painting little people is to allow the colors to blend together and not be concerned with certain small features. These buildings turned out OK. But, many times, there is a lean or just something really off about them. Yours always read really well! Thank you, Ruth!

  14. Wonderful, light and cheery! I want to move in! It looks like such a happy place!

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