Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cityscape Painting Part 1

We camped in the grassy median while painting this scene.

I took my class to the historic district of downtown Provo, Utah to paint buildings this week. I began a scene of my own the first day and I have to admit the prospect of capturing buildings was much more challenging than I expected. Some of the things that I realized while attempting to paint my chosen scene are as follows:

Blocking in the basic shapes

1- The drawing aspect necessary to capture architectural elements is critical. You must take extra time and care in your observational drawing in order to make sure that your proportions and perspective are correct.
It became very important to capture  the vanishing perspective of the horizontal planes as well as keeping the verticals absolutely plumb.

2- Accurate perceptions of color and value are more difficult. The addition of many different local colors and values in buildings pose a challenge that is not so obvious in landscape painting. For instance, I noticed that the shadow side of a white building in my scene was nearly the same value as the sunlit dark gray facade right next to it. Color and value must be accurately observed and mixed in order to capture the right feel of solidity in your structures.

3- It takes much longer (at least for me right now) to paint a city scene on location, mostly because of the above two reasons.

Progress after an hour and 45 minutes.

I found myself really enjoying the challenge of painting a city scene and look forward to finishing this one up next week. I suspect there may be more urban painting in my future.  I'll post a picture of how it turned out when it's done.

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