Central Park 3, 14x11, 2017

The rains have returned to the Seattle area just in time, because I had planned on painting wet street scenes. I pulled out photos of streets with back-lit buildings and people. I love back-lighting because it gives me an opportunity to create special effects like aerial perspective, lost edges, and negative painting.

When I sketched out the composition, some changes were needed, ie moving a building from one side to another. The skyscrapers in the photo had a stair-step look, so to counteract, that I moved one building from right to left. This change resulted in an “up and down” configuration, the shorter pointy tower ending up in the middle.

I brushed in dilute warm colors for the sky and while it was still wet, painted the tower with slightly thicker, cooler colors. Soft edges appeared on the tower because the paper around it was damp. The bigger buildings came next, with even thicker paint brought down to the level of the trees and the heads of the walkers. I brushed thick dark paint negatively around the people, then pulled down some reflections from the buildings and trees. The figures were done last, with care to save the white of the paper around their heads and shoulders.