Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Evolving Painting

This is another scene of downtown Los Angeles from a little pocket park just north of Sunset Boulevard. It started out last year as a quick demonstration for a class I was teaching. I sketched the scene in pen and then applied a wash of yellow, orange, red, purple and blue over the whole sheet. I pulled out the building shapes in contrasting colors and added in the tree shapes in the foreground. It was a competent but uninspired effort.

A few months later, I pulled it out of the pile and reworked it, adding some detail in pen and ink and sketching in the little studies in the lower right corner. It was better, but not yet what I had in mind, so it sat to the side once again.

Recently I decided to finish it off, one way or another. I tackled the sky with dark colors, deepened the building shadows, expanded the tree's presence and put in some more white paint accents. Some of these moves were scary, particularly in the sky, but I plowed ahead with boldness, as it is better to fail spectacularly then to crank out yet another average painting.