Wednesday, January 5, 2011

'City Stroll' in progress

Thanks for all the feedback on my last post. I've painted a lot of lemons but not for about two years, so I was really surprised when I found the shadows so difficult. I completely agree with Karen Sampson's comments on keeping the colours clean and going to either the oranges and reds or to a cool palette with greens and blues. I tried all of those colour combos but because the shadow is in fact a shadow, normally the colour has to be greyed, and there in came the mud. Expect to see some more lemon paintings cropping up because evidently I need to practice.

This past summer we were in Vancouver during the World Cup Soccer Championship, and there is no better part of the city to take in the vibe, than Commercial Drive. I shot a lot of pictures over a few days, and here is the start of a painting in one of my favourite parts of the city. It's a fairly complicated image, so my emphasis will be on editing and simplifying the strokes. Trying to say it with less.



  1. It's good to see your work in progress, Claire, the texture you're beginning to include in the building's facade. I love seeing photos of a painting in progress, the decisions made along the way. My own route is still very haphazard and I learn from seeing steps other artists take. I would like to know the size of the canvas you're working on . . . scale is one of many things I find elusive. It's one thing to do a still-life in a granted shallow space but a street scene or landscape on a small surface takes a different kind of understanding.

  2. This is a really good composition and it looks like a fun one to work on, with all the different shades and values you could put in. I agree with you about shadows. I'm scared to death of shadows!

  3. Ma chère Claire, je ne suis pas la seule à penser que de pouvoir visualiser la progression d'une peinture est intéressante. Chaque artiste évolue à sa manière, et tant mieux, n'est-ce pas?
    De toute évidence cette peinture sera couronnée de succès, sa composition est déjà bien étudiée et bien organisée.
    J'ai hâte de voir la suite de son évolution.
    gros bisous

  4. I am pleased that you found my suggestions about handling shadows so helpful. I shall post a couple of fruit still life paintings I've done on my blog in the next day or so which show the use of cleaner colours for shadow areas which do hold up as shadows but are not muddy. Often just using a dark version of the complementary colour of the subject will work well. A lot depends upon the type of lighting you're using also, whether it is a blue scale or yellow scale light (i.e., tungsten, halogen, led, flourescent, or natural).

  5. Classic process.
    Beautiful design and composition!

  6. Thanks everyone! I've had a really busy week so I haven't been on my blog. I'd just like to say how much appreciate your interest in my work and process, and all of the support and suggestions you've passed my way.