June 17, 2013

Train Signals

I finished the painting in Gaithersburg today.  I ended up making the coffee shop sign a cooler and darker gray than the original warm brown it was in the earlier stages (it's a dark brown wood if you see it in person).  The street was extended to create the distance in the painting, along with the rough outlines of street lights going back along the streed.  In doing so, I was able bring the emphasis back to the bright red of the train signals as they caught the light.

After a frustrating many weeks of finding little time to paint, this was a very satisfying end to my spring painting time.

June 12, 2013

Quick Study of Figures

Always in a rush... I had 40 minutes to do this quick study of figures in Gaithersburg.  They both stood at that spot, but not at the same time.  I painted them close together so they'd relate to one another, but I need more light on the back of the blue top to make them fully share the space.

June 5, 2013

Train Signals

Back in Gaithersburg this morning, I put in the buildings on the right, adjusted the sky line and its color, and put some more definition into the train signals, the gas station and building beyond.  I think I managed to keep the loose and soft look I was going for.

The coffee shop sign is fine by itself, but I am finding it doesn't integrate into the painting well and I need to work out how or whether to keep it in the painting.  I thought it might be seen as a silhouette (the way you'd see something if you were really looking past it, rather than at it), or maybe as a larger object or a cooler color... something to work on next week.

June 3, 2013

What's Behind in Old Town Gaithersburg

I have painted the same view in Gaithersburg's historic downtown district more than once and I'm never satisfied with the result.  Today I started working on that same view again and ended up scraping the paint off the canvas.

One idea that always sticks in my mind is that if you think you've found something you want to paint, set up your stuff and then turn around and paint what's behind you.  It's a way to force yourself to take a fresh look at the way you choose your subject matter.  I definitely needed a new idea for what I was working on today.

This is the start of a painting of what was behind me.   A coffee shop sign, railroad crossing, a gas station.  I was painting into wet paint (somehow scraping still left a lot of paint behind) so the red tinge is largely from the red building that used to be in that spot.  It works, in part, so I think I will be keeping some of it as I get back into this painting on Wednesday.