Thursday, December 29, 2011

A new painting in the works...

I'm starting a new painting, and this time I'm going very slow and being very careful to get everything worked out beforehand. My previous method of thinking I could correct drawing errors as I painted just was not working out for me!

I'm working from a photo of Pike Place Market in Seattle that I took quite some time ago.

First, I cropped the photo for a better composition. I moved the two figures to the left over so they would fit in the new composition and added a simple grid to make it easier to draw.

Then I did a value sketch thumbnail - it's about 3x4 inches. I simplified the scene a bit as well.

And after that, I traced the value sketch so that I would have a line drawing that I could use both for doing a color study, and also for transferring the image to the canvas. When I did the line drawing I discovered a drawing error along the side of the building (at the right) - the windows and brick areas did not line up properly with the front face of the building - so I was able to correct that. Looking at this now, I think I will have to readjust some lines in the sketch that are a little skewed.

Then, I took a scan of the line drawing, blew it up to 8x10, and created a jpg file of it. I then opened the jpg in a graphics program I have on my computer (it was free!) called "ArtRage 2" and started applying color. I'm still working on the color study, as I see a few things that need adjustment.

I added the touch of red to the man's jacket in order to keep the eye moving throughout the painting. I'm also wondering if perhaps I should have reduced the scale of the two figure on the right just slightly. Somehow they look too big to me in relation to the figures to the right. I'll need to correct the color on the green kiosk (just to the left of and beyond the two figures on the right). I'm also wondering if the tall building in the distance (upper right) would be better left out, with only sky showing there instead. It wouldn't be entirely accurate to do so, but don't think a viewer of the painting would be very likely to notice, and since this was a very sunny day, a view of the sky might work better to convey that.

I'm really eager to continue work on this, but the holidays seem to be getting in the way...

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