3/27/12

Crossing the Perch, 24x24

"Crossing the Perch"  24x24"  Pastel  ©Brenda Boylan

After much struggle and delay, I've come to a point where I think all the corrections have been made to call this one piece complete. Along the way, I was flip-flopping between a warm or cool light source. If the light is warm then the shadows are typically cool and vice-versa. Because the foggy sky had a lot of cool color (a typical Portland sky), it made the painting very cool in nature and I didn't want another foggy painting.  So I switched the light to be warm (yeah, we artists can change weather almost in a blink) and it gave the painting the pop it needed.  Also, the highlights on the shiny cars and other urban motifs have either a pink or yellow hint to them from the warm light source, giving my painting some sparkle. Below I share my process of struggle and success...


There is a guy somewhere in Portland who now is in a painting! Who could he be? He originally was a tad to the right, but his head was in perfect alignment with the Nordstrom sign, and that created a direct linear path through the middle of the painting.  That being a big no-no, I scrubbed him off and moved him a cadence back.  Also of note, the grey street is not grey at all, but a series of colors lightly layered on top of each other.  Our eyes "mix" the color and that is what I love about pastels...the layering of colors that make the eyes excited.


Originally, the lower right hand area of the painting was just sidewalk and signs, so I added the ladies from other resource pics I had.  Originally the women didn't have hats on their heads, but as I was painting their hair, the bulkier it got and it began to look kind of nice.  So now they wear hats, as we often do to keep warm in Portland.


Then there are the birds. Every city has them, be it pigeons, seagulls or small brown finches and so I was inspired to name this piece after their heavenly perch because of their presence in every city. These gulls were originally perched a tad towards the middle of the light pole, but I moved them over to the left to give weight to this corner of the piece... creating a flow and balance to the overall composition.  There is lots to explore in this piece, but most of it is painted with a soft blur so it's not too fussy.  In keeping with focal point guidelines, (strong contrast in dark and light, complimentary colors touching, tighter detail, and busy shapes) I kept the tight rendering to the busy traffic pattern in the far distance.

4 comments:

Charlotte Herczfeld said...

Hi Brenda, oh, this is a beauty! You've suffused it with warmth, and with a touch of humour, and it is gorgeously painted. What a treat to see it! Modern cityscapes has this tendency towards grey, but not yours, it glows!

Nancy Goldman said...

This is really beautiful Brenda. I love all the touches of color that make this so exciting and your sense of light is stunning.

B Boylan said...

Thanks Charlotte,
Haven't been to Wetcanvas in awhile..where I first met you online! Thanks for the "glowing' compliment!

HI Nancy,
Glad you found my interest in city scenes exciting! I do hope to create more this coming year.

Sue Gardner said...

This is brilliant! Your blog is such a good read as well!