Saturday, July 20, 2013

Studio Work - Girders #1

I did something silly this week. I tried to paint a pastel but it was a lame attempt and failed. Later in retrospect, I realized why - my heart wasn't in it, I hadn't planned, and was just trying to copy a photograph. I know better!

I wiped out most of the pigment from the sanded surface. Today, I decided to use this piece of paper for a new painting and new subject. I was using UArt 600 grit sanded pastel paper. I felt it didn't have enough tooth, so I applied some Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer in clear and let it dry. Following are process shots:
 A peek of the failed painting shows through.

I liked the design because of the Z shape that the structures and riverbanks created and gave a nice rhythm across the piece. I wanted to keep the 'brushwork' a bit loose and not get bogged down with details.

I have a real problem figuring how to get away from making an image too realistic. I know I am able to make something very sharp and clear when I mean to, but I really admire those artists that can make each brushstroke count and just get the impression. It's much more interesting.

I am so intrigued with this composition, that I want to attempt to paint it in oil! We'll see it that works out soon. I'd like to get some stronger contrasts, emphasize the Z more, and get the structure a bit straighter!

My final painting is shown below. I am fairly happy with this, although I can see numerous things that could be improved. But I am surprised that I was drawn to this scene since I rarely like to paint architectural pieces - there was something about the design that drew me in. The scene is at Boston, Ohio at the visitor's center, looking south. The Cuyahoga river is flowing under the tall bridgework of the Ohio Turnpike (distant) and I-271 (foreground).

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