Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Crossing the Bathurst Street Bridge

24 x 24 oil on canvas
I'm finding working out color temperature in  night scenes is quite difficult. In a sunny scene, one can default to warm light and cool shadow and have the picture work. Even if the photo reference tells me an object is warm, I need to work with the picture and use my own judgment. I had to use the black and white photo reference most of the time after I had of my color mixes. I decided to get out the knife to add interest.
 It was a much more difficult picture to do than I originally thought.
Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for the photo reference.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Crossing the Bathurst Street Bridge

8x8 oil on canvas
Doing small studies is a big help in deciding what images will work out on a larger scale, but it is no guarantee. Sometimes the smaller images are more spontaneous and looser with more focus on the abstract qualities.Of course, as I always say, there is no way to find out how an image will look larger unless you paint it larger.
I really like the abstract quality of this image. It has  strong verticals and a nice balance of darks and lights. So, guess I'll get the large canvas ready.
Sometimes I want to stop learning and just start painting. Maybe that never happens.
This scene is from the Bathurst Bridge at Front Street.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

City Lights on Wellington Street, Toronto

24x24 oil on canvas
This is the same scene as the previous post, but on a larger scale. I used the same color palette as the small study. At this stage, I need to leave it around for a bit and see if it is done. Sometimes its good to leave it before I start adding more details.
Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for the photo reference for this painting.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Night Study

8x8 Oil on board
In this study I used a combination of cobalt blue, transparent oxide red, cad red, yellow ochre and white. I usually use ultramarin blue as a combination color for darks, but I liked the colors resulting from this mix.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Night Rain in Blues

8 x 10 oil on board
I still want to do some night scenes on a smaller scale, experimenting with different night time color palettes before I attempt a larger one. For this scene, I used ultramarine blue, ivory black., cadmium red, yellow ochre, and white. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Newspaper Boxes on Front Street

8 x 10 oil on board
This area of Front Street next to St. Lawrence Market has such beautiful lush planters. I liked the mix of colour and reflections of this row of newspaper boxes next to the greenery. Normally I rarely use alizarin crimson because I don't like the "pink" that results from making the darks from a mix of Ultramarine blue and alizarin. In this scene, with the one pink newspaper box, it really seemed to work. I did tone down the dark mix with a touch of transparent oxide red.
There are no planters on Front Street yet. Normally in our area, we don't plant gardens until May 24 to avoid risk of frost. I took this photo last year during a warm misty rain.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

City Lights, Yonge Street, Toronto

8 x 10 oil on board
Doing small paintings or studies is an important way to keep work fresh and more spontaneous and is also a great way to examine an image for compostion or colour schemes for larger paintings. I have gotten away from doing them, and I think it shows in my work. And more importantly, they are a lot more fun to do.
With this scene, I was interested in the abstract quality of the shapes and lights rather than a detailed representation. I used the Zorn Palette (black, red, yellow ochre, white but then went in and added the green lights.)
This scene is Yonge Street looking toward Dundas Square on a rainy evening. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Late Night on Yonge Street

36 x 48 oil on canvas
I've been experimenting painting larger sizes these days and I'm still not sure how much I like it. I definitely like the impact of a larger painting but the downside is that mistakes are huge, they are more expensive to paint, and they take way more room and more time. Unfortaunately, the only way to find out what we like to do is by doing it.
This is another night scene from Yonge Street in Toronto.

Thanks again to John Tavares for the photo reference.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Busy Saturday at St. Lawrence Market, Toronto

16 x 20 oil on board
I like these busy scenes, with lots of people and activity. St. Lawrence Market in Toronto is an amazing place. There are vendors outside and inside providing lots of variety. And as their website states, " Be inspired by locally-produced products and dabble in new foods and traditions from across Toronto’s vibrant cultural tapestry. Or simply come for the people watching!"
On this Saturday, there was a soft rain falling, making it a perfect day for people watching and capturing all those reflections that I love.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Caught in the Rain

16 x 20 oil on canvas
I take several reference photos and often I find what I like to call "collateral images". Tucked away in the corner of photos are lots of images that I didn't have my view finder set on. Thanks to digital imagery, we can blow up these images and create new ones.
I need LOTS of practice painting people, so I thought I would paint a few of these found images. I have a long way to go in painting people, but I think I was able to capture the irritation felt by this young woman after being caught in the rain.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Not Just Noodles, Yonge Street, Toronto

17x20 oil on board
My previous post was about winter's last hurrah. I guess I was wrong. This morning I walked the dog in minus 2 celcius, battling high winds and a snow squall. An April fool's joke from Mother Nature.
I love the name of this restaurant on Yonge Street. In this image, there is lots of slushy snow about, and the reflectionsfrom the yellow sign are mirrored in the wet areas of the street. A Beck taxi and a garbage truck are out and about. I used mostly black, red, yellow ochre, with touches of viridian and cadmium yellow.
Thank you John Tavares for the use of this photo reference.