|Catching Some Rays, 9x12" oil on RayMar ($300)|
I took this photo a couple of years ago in downtown Washington, D.C. and finally pulled it out to paint. Two things struck me when I took the picture. I loved the turquoise color on the building and the young lady enjoying the sunshine was a great compliment to that color in her yellow top. Putting figures in my paintings is fairly new for me and probably why I'm just painting this now. The paintings I've done over the past year have given me a lot more confidence about adding figures in a cityscape.
The day I started this painting, I posted it for discussion with my critique group. New eyes are good even when I think I'm humming along fairly well. Sue asked me what I wanted to viewer to look at in the painting. I didn't know what to say. She, like many artists I know, have a story they want their paintings tell before they begin to paint. I rarely thought in those terms before working with this group. Most of the time, when I paint a cityscape, something draws me to it and it is usually color. I guess I'm thinking more about perspective. Rats, I was hoping the story just happens like magic. Back to basics! It all goes back to the school of doing a thumbnail sketch (which I don't do often anymore) before drawing in paint on the canvas.
The figure wasn't my focus when I started the painting, it was the turquoise on the building that caught my eye. But as I painted and removed a tree in the front of the building the figure became the interesting part of the painting and not so secondary.