Thursday, April 20, 2017

Months in the Making

A crazy summer art show season is set to begin, but before diving into that, I slipped away to Philadelphia this past weekend to deliver my largest-ever painting (so far!) to a wonderful client.

"Little Italy Morning" is a 36" x 72" oil painting that grew up out of a study from Lower Manhattan that I created last year. I won't write much here, but I'll let you take a look at the time elapsed working process from start to finish, including its installation in my client's home. This was a months-long process for me, and I enjoyed the challenge of working in a large format for a cityscape. Indeed, this is one of the main reasons why I added oil painting to my body of artwork beginning a few years ago: the freedom to work in larger formats than what I could do with pastel.

Stay tuned, there may be more large format pieces in the future...

The Very Beginning - I work in freehand for everything that I create, so I don't use projectors or other mechanisms to "trace" my compositions into place. If you click this image to enlarge it and look carefully, you'll see that I've divided the canvas into four quadrants to help anchor the main elements of the composition. At this point, it's just a straightforward matter of sketching in the composition with earth tones.


Early Colors - The process of working in oil painting is very similar to my "native" medium of pastel in that I work from dark shadow tones forward to midtones and then highlights. In addition, I like to start in the distance and then work forward in a composition like this.


Almost Finished on the Easel - I have two easels in my studio, and when I finished this piece and removed it, my studio felt empty.


Final - The completed painting.


In its New Home - I'm here with my client and I'm pleased to report that I didn't pound a million mistaken holes into his wall...I hung it level on the first try - hooray!