Thursday, August 18, 2016

Toronto Chinatown

4 x 4 oil on paper

I haven't posted a painting in over a month. It has been a difficult summer with the heat. I believe it is our hottest summer on record, here in Southern Ontario. My studio is in the attic and when the temperature outside is above 27 degrees celcius (81 F), even with an air conditioner, it is impossible to work. I spent some time doing plein air and catching up on some art reading and research. 
When I decided to do this image of Toronto's Chinatown on Spadina with the lights under the umbrella and awning contrasting with the grey of the rain, I thought it would be worth trying a few studies with different undercoats to see which one I prefer. I don't always use an undercoat, but thought a different approach might have better results. The 4 x4 squares were coated with a wash of transparent oxide red and the other with Indian yellow. I then painted the same image on both.

I'm not sure which one I prefer. Any thoughts or opinons are welcome!


Barbara Muir said...

Beautiful work, and it has certainly been a hot one.


Gayle said...

I generally do an all-over underpainting wash using either one single color, or a mixture of a few that lean towards the orange hue and find that it gives the painting has more "punch". I have used yellow ochre before (similar to indian yellow but slightly cooler) but still preferred the orange. Haven't tried indian yellow but now I want to experiment with it, since it has some orange in it. My eye was drawn right away to your painting done over the red oxide wash, as the highlights really stand out. However, on closer inspection, I like the vibrancy of the greens in the 2nd painting. I'm currently considering doing the underpainting wash in several shades, like orange in the sky area, and magenta for the land area (especially if there will be lots of greens). It's an evolving experiment - there's a lot I haven't tried yet, but it keeps things interesting!

AK said...

These awnings and umbrellas add colour to an otherwise dull background. I found the second combination better. Keep experimenting.

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Hi Gayle, thanks for your informative comment! Jennifer McChristian does a very good description of how she starts a painting, including the under painting she uses. Check it out here:
She uses two colours similar to what you describe.

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Thanks AK for stopping by and for your comments. Always a pleasure to get your input!

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Thanks so much Barbara for your comments!