Today’s class with Rick involved no painting. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Which is not a bad thing considering what I learned and accomplished today.
I’m starting a new oil painting that is 24″ x 24″ (or 2 feet square). It is a scene I photographed in Portland , OR last fall. This scene involves a lot of things going on; people, animals, buildings, sidewalks and perspective. When I embarked on this project, I didn’t consider the complexities of painting a city-scape. This is why I take art lessons. And this is my first attempt at perspective and complex subject matter.
The first thing Rick had me do was to find the “vanishing point” of the painting. This is the horizon line, and in a properly composed photograph, will be about 1/3 from the top (or bottom for a sunset) of the composition. My photo has the horizion at the top 1/3.
Once we established the “vanishing point” I drew the angular lines of the objects in the photo. I started first with the sidewalk since this is the largest most prominent part of the painting. Next, I worked on the picnic benches. THOSE took me a long time (and many tries) to get right. Then I added the umbrellas and the buildings on the right side in the distance.
Next, I went to work on the buildings on the left, and nearest to the viewer. I added in (after a few tries) the man standing in the background added in (after a few tries) and realized he’s too big and made him smaller. Ironically, the point of reference is his head. Then I added the middle dog first and realized that was a mistake. While the dog was super
cute, he was too small and not placed correctly. So I erased him and the one next to him and started with the third dog who is standing further back. This should be easier since he’s next to the picnic benches and thus, will give me size dimensions.
I still need to add the other 2 dogs, but once I have them sketched in, I can start painting. Of course, I usually “sit with” my sketches for a few days before I start painting. Even now, I see a few things I want to change… Whew. What a project! I’m excited to see what happens with this one!