Monday, January 18, 2021

Back to Black (and white)

The Center City skyline of downtown Philadelphia
as viewed from a spectacular urban rooftop garden


I'm listening to AC / DC’s hit "Back in Black" as I write this because it's the perfect theme song for what I’m working on right now. During these winter months when I'm not exhibiting at outdoor art shows (and especially during a time of pandemic), I use this quieter time to work on custom painting commissions for clients.


Among a few projects that I have in process right now is a custom cityscape painting that will feature the Center City skyline of downtown Philadelphia. There are many factors to consider in a subject so complex, everything from light and atmosphere to the details of the architecture. To keep an idea like this from becoming overwhelming, I go back to basics and go "back to black." Gosh, it's almost a perfect title to pair with AC / DC, right? 


An alternative perspective of the subject  
What I mean by this is that I strip down the idea to graphite renderings in my sketchbook to work out the composition and approach. This is just a first building block. In the coming weeks, I’ll do a couple of small scale color studies for my client to review. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and these first practice runs at an idea allow me to communicate what I’m thinking to my client and also help him offer his thoughts and ideas during the process. 


There’s nothing wrong with going "back to black" to create a full-color painting!