Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Out of my comfort zone....

(Artisan oils on 9 x 12 canvas paper)

I mean waaaay out!

After attempting this street scene from San Francisco for the February Virtual Paintout I was reminded of why I've never been drawn to urban scenes. But that's the reason I chose a busy scene like this... to get me out of my comfort zone. How else will I learn?

My main goal with this was to (1) paint loose, fast and avoid detail, and (2) get some practice in simplifying a cluttered scene. Between deciding what to put in and what to leave out and using oils again after using mostly colored pencils, I'm sure I either have less hair or more gray hair. Plus, I got a colorful reminder that when you inadvertently lean your hand on an oil painting... the canvas isn't the only thing with paint on it.

I'm not happy with the finished painting, but I am glad that I finished it though tempted to toss it when I was struggling. I decided it might help if the painting was cropped, and after experimenting I narrowed it down to the top two crops you see, finally settling on the version at the beginning of this post.

I posted a couple of quick WIPs and just below them is the original photo I worked from. There are also two photos of my resident muse, Bailey, who you can tell from the first pic is not the least interested in doing his job and lending me any inspiration. In the second pic (after I disturbed his nap and got him to look at me and the camera) I got so tickled at the disgusted expression on his face that I just had to share it with you. Sorry Bail!

After this little venture I'll be happy to get back to rural landscapes, people and pets!
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