Saturday, January 8, 2011

City Stroll

Original Oil on Panel  8 x 10  $125
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Here is City Stroll complete. My focus on this painting was to simplify the image as there was a lot going on being a city street scene, and try to say it with less, in terms of image content and brush strokes. I wanted the strokes to be fresh and painterly. I had some great feedback on the process posting so I'm going to open for discussion some of thoughts while I was painting and now that it's complete.

I decided that I needed some of the foreground street clutter, like signs, sandwich boards, newspaper boxes, and tables and chairs to create the ambiance of the place. Then from midground back, I squinted a lot and just laid in strokes with tonal values greyed and lightened to push them back.

I'm quite happy with the composition and the colour palette. The fellow strolling is my focal point and I really like how the highlights on the brick wall and the awning on the right point down to him, and the two vertical posts on the left frame him in. I also placed him so that the highlights on his chest would fall at the intersection of the grids lines, if the canvas was divided in thirds in both directions. These four intersections are the strongest positions for the focal point. To suggest the street going back in space, those three lines of shadow were quite important. The colour palette of complimentary red and green happened as I was painting. The fellow had a light blue T-shirt which I decided to change to yellow green as the brick wall  took shape, and then I just added toned down touches of red in the objects around him so he would pop. So I hope you like the outcome and please feel free to comment on my decision making process.



  1. This piece really caught my eye Claire, and for all the reasons you mention above. You did a lot of planning, and it paid off!

  2. Very nice, Claire! Thank you for the thoughtful commentary! Well done on both fronts.

  3. Hello Claire,
    Excelent painting!
    Your didactic process and talent = sucess!

  4. Wouahou! Ma chère Claire. Vous avez travaillé jour et nuit pour aboutir à une telle oeuvre aussi complète et rayonnante de lumière et de couleurs...
    Le feu est rouge! alors j'avais du mal à partir ailleurs... beau travail.
    Gros bisous

  5. Thank you Joanne, Linda, Antonio and Martine for your wonderful comments. Sharing process with other artists is always fun and rewarding. I'm really glad you enjoyed reading about it.

  6. Claire...beautifully finished! The eye takes you all over with so many details! again, wonderful job.!