Thursday, October 01, 2009

South Street

I decided today to not go to the gym. Best Decision! I've just been running around so much that I am not getting the extended time in my studio that I've craved. I had the best day painting. I haven't had this kind of surge in a couple of weeks so I am really glad I decided to focus on ONE thing for once. PAINTING!

Among some horses, figures in the city and a muse
um patron or two, I worked on these "vignettes" as an exercise. The subject was a rather nicely composed scene of South Street near the Brooklyn Bridge. This photo really lent itself to breaking it up into big blocks of values. This first one I intended to be a vignette, but it turned out rather mundane and typical. I got into too many details and lost focus. Imagine that.

6x8 oil on panel

So I did the scene again in just 4 values using mars black.

6x8 oil on panel

I liked that so well, I thought I'd lighten up and do it in a "high key" and really liked that. It taught me so much about cityscapes. Street scenes are so busy and colorful that it can be hard to avoid details and making a patchwork quilt (see above!) By reducing my values to large masses I was able to leave out all non-essentials and create an impression that conveys the mood of the city without belaboring it with tons of signage and competing facades.

6x8 oil on pa

le image

Note to self: Start looser from the beginning!


Dawn Chandler said...

Nicely done!! 'Love the simplified pieces.

Tammy Hext said...

thanks for posting these - I learned alot from looking at them as well.

Donna B said...

You totally blow me away with your talent! I admire your disapline and drive to paint each day...I can get so distracted with my writing then, I don't paint. Practice makes perfect...and you sure are gifted!

Marian Fortunati said...

Wow... it is so interesting to see all the different versions you did on these studies...
I so admire you and am glad you had a great time doing it.

Kristine Kainer said...

Fabulous workmanship. Reminds me of the old elevated train line near my grandparents' apartment in the Bronx. Haven't thought of that in years. Is this location in Austin? (If so, I need to get out more....)

Robin Cheers said...

Thanks all! I think this simplification might have helped me work on city scenes. We shall see!

I really appreciate your comments - especially coming from accomplished artists whom I admire!

Kristine - this is in NYC. Not Austin. Its an underpass along the East River.

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