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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Montmartre and Sacre Coeur

Montmartre with Sacre Coeur, 15x30. oil
Here is a new one for you. I started this months ago but only now have gotten it close to where I want it. The first draft I went very graphic with heavy outlines on the buildings. But I kept the cathedral more realistic which made it feel like two paintings in one. Since the idea of outlining the cathedral did not seem appropriate I painted over most of the lines in the rest of the painting and also removed windows and blended buildings together, leaving just some here and there. The trees remained the same, just one dark shape broken up by lighter shapes. I may at some point paint this scene again with a very graphic fun style. I am seeing it in my minds eye as I write this post. Take it in a totally different direction. Maybe paint it a little larger than this one.

This is a local tone painting, meaning it has three distinct values: light, medium and dark. The lower half is also a study in equalization. Equalization is a visual approach which brings a uniform sense of pattern to a painting. The goal is to create a visual rhythm out of the pattern. It does not mean all shapes are equal in size and shape but are similar in size and shape, no two alike. I also was doing color harmony as an element where every color has blue in it. That is still true but I did not take it as far as I could have.

The reference photo for this painting was from my two weeks in France 7 years ago. I have so much reference material from that trip I am still discovering. A real treasure trove. This is not the typical view of Sacre Couer but I love the fact that it shows so much of Montmartre a great little village built on a hill in Paris. Be sure to visit this landmark when in Paris. The cathedral is beautiful inside, the view from there across Paris is amazing and the streets are so much fun to explore. There is a funicular for those who can't walk that much.

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