Childe Hassam - Spectators at the Grand Prix
Childe Hassam – Spectators at the Grand Prix

This is a completely stunning watercolor/gouache study for many reasons. Here are a few to enjoy the piece a bit more:

  1. The arrangement of people in a pyramidal composition ending with the black hat on top.
  2. The diagonal orientation of the carriage, pointing from left bottom to the right middle, to where the people are looking.
  3. The beautiful rendering of the woman’s white dress with just a few values that lie very close together.
  4. The indication of the crowd raising their hats in the distance.

The reason why i like this drawing too is everything that lies outside the “frame”. I really like to see the presence of the creator, how he is messing around with sparks of color. This is why I like sketchbooks so much. We get a much better impression of the work of an artist when we see his preliminaries. Here is another post on this.