The Rialto Theatre is a beloved landmark in South Pasadena. I began my painting of it with a loose pen and ink sketch done on Fabriano cold press paper. I wanted there to be an attitude of casual inexactness to this work, so I drew with pen from the start, not doing a pencil block-out of the big shapes like I occasionally do. I used a light touch as the ink bleeds when used heavily.
I painted the sky first, using Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Deep, Mineral Violet and Raw Sienna, mixed and blended on the paper. I then established the shadow shapes on the building with Cobalt Blue and Mineral Violet; blocked in the sign with Burnt Sienna and Cadmium Red Light; and painted the sunlit wall with Raw Sienna. I used Gamboge Nova and Greenish Yellow for the trees, letting some white of the paper show through to help create a glow.
Using Marine Blue and Burnt Sienna, I deepened the shadows in the trees, and used bold, primary colors for the patrons as I wanted them to stand out from the purple shadow at the entry. I made the far awning a bright red to create a complementary vibration with the green trees.
The next step was to deepen and enhance the shadows and clarify the architecture with fine brush work and a mixture of Ultramarine Deep, Mineral Violet and Burnt Umber. I painted the marquis movie title with a rigger brush and smeared it with water, and added more color to the sky.
The final touches included painting the window mullions and frames with Titanium White, finishing up the people, and adding a few more architectural accents with dark paint, and of course signing it.