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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rainy Day in Paris continued

This is the stage of the painting that I really enjoy. Bringing my idea to life!
In this photo you can see where I have started to bring in color to break up the shapes that I had initially blocked in. The shapes are holding together with the color added yet still maintaining the correct value to stay as part of the overall dark pattern. Within each of the figures I am keeping the color value very close and not putting in too much definition or form, but just enough to be read clearly as jacket vs jeans vs shoes and enough value shift to still see form. Where as in my block in they were all one value and color.

The next step will be to finish the trees, the roof overhang and bring in the sky and wet pavement. The plan at this point is to start lighter at the top of the sky and introduce a gradation to be darker at the bottom.

A good thing to remember is that every painting started this way (with a dominant big shape) holds together better all the way through the process of painting no matter what the subject or visual approach. I still remember watching Daniel Sprick do a demo a few years ago. He blocked in the big shape of his still life with a dark neutral color and then started to break that big shape into smaller shapes, and within a very short time, it came to life. No initial drawing or worrying about each object. Doing this painting has reminded me of that. Such a fundamental building block yet so few people I know do it, myself included.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Start of A Rainy Day in Paris

Dark/light pattern is the visual approach that I will document progress on over the next several weeks. I started this painting just blocking in the dark pattern which is the large shape. I did several sketches beforehand trying to figure out some areas where I was not sure if I wanted it to be part of the light group or the dark group. I still have a few small areas where I will decide which pattern they will go into as I get further along for better eye flow. The story will be told in the dark group/pattern for this painting. That means I will be putting more information or detail and color shifts in that big shape and the light group will be very simple. I don’t often paint this visual approach, but it is very striking when it is successfully done.
 name TBD, Oil on Linen, 30"x20"
In this first block in above, I was testing the red of the bus and umbrella as part of the dark group where I had put it in my sketch as that was my inclination and it seems a good fit. The part that made me unsure is the red bus being dark and the windows of the bus being dark. I decided to break that large bus shape up by using a light rim around the windows and adding light text to the side of the bus.

In the next phase, color has been added still keeping the value of the color in the dark or light group. You can see between the two images how I am doing that by distinguishing the shapes or pulling the smaller shapes out of the larger overall dark pattern, yet keeping them in that pattern. The pale yellow of the buildings in teh background still read as part of the light group.

It helps me to see these side by side as I "see" things that I lost to one group or another that I am not sure I want to do. If you can spot those areas, let me you may see something different from me that I should pay attention to!