Today I finished a painting I started several weeks ago. It’s a small alley picture (16 x 12 as opposed to 24 x 20). I had the board and a picture from Feb. 2015 that I liked so decided to do another alley. It was not easy working with so much detail so small! I liked the composition and didn’t bother to do a comp. study (I am getting lazy). I wanted the sunlit building on left middle to be the center of interest, with the window above it. For that reason, I did not make the building to the left of it as light or white as it appeared in the photo. But the colors were an issue. Much of the original photo (buildings in left foreground and fence on right) were all gray, brown, white–boring! So I did a color study. I wasn’t real happy with it.
When I went to do the underpainting, I picked up blues, blue greens and violets, and bronze Caran d’ache hard pastels and I really had a good time doing the underpainting. Loved it! I decided that the color palette would be oranges (buildings) with blue green and blue violet (a split complement). I brought my box of Terry Ludwig “vibrants” to the studio for the brick buildings and ended up using a lot of his blues for the sky and road. What turned out to be particularly useful were the grays in the box of “cerulean” Blue Earth pastels. They were odd greens that worked really nicely in the road where it was covered in ice.
But I’m not sure that my plan for the color really worked out. It’s really more red, green and blue violet. Ah well! I’m happy with it.
The road, of course, was the real challenge. I used a variety of violets, blues, blue greens, and odd browns. I loved the puddle and the sunlit part in foreground that showed red brick covered with blue water.
It was nice to get back to the alleys. I’ll be visiting Capitol Hill in May and will take some summer pictures.