Monday, February 15, 2010

Time on your side...

TIME usually gets a bad rap since most of us want more than what's allotted, but when painting outdoors on location, time can actually be your ally...the setting sun, moving clouds -- elements we can't control that change the shadows, values and colour can keep you from overworking a piece, which is a good thing. Spontaneity is a desired and important quality in a plein air painting, and too much time will steal it from you. In the case of the piece below, a delivery van parked right in front of me just as I was nearing the finish -- I thought I wanted more time, but later realized it would have gone down hill from here (maybe it already had a little, but it still has some freshness to it).

Urban Assault Vehicle (9x12)

Bridge of Size (9x12)

Like many landscape paintings, urbanscapes are more interesting in the hours of early morning or late in the day when shadows are long and more interesting things are happening abstract-wise... Of course you're asking for it when staying in the confines of an hour or so, but that hour of golden light is worth the pursuit. For the piece above, I took a reference photo so I could add the white van later when I got home. Moving vehicles are almost impossible to paint, but leaving them out of a city scene (along with pedestrians) can sometimes have the "neutron bomb effect"...


  1. Love urbanscapes! There always seems to be some sort of nostalgia about them. Run down, overlooked, or under appreciated structures...made beautiful again!

  2. Love the bridge painting and how you've made metal and concrete into a design that requires the eye to linger and appreciate, and the heart to want to see more. Thanks for sharing. Donna Sanson

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