Sunday, April 27, 2014

Uptown Morning – Plein Air Architecture

Uptown Morning, 8x10", oil on panel
©2014 Cindy Greene
A friend and I have been meeting to paint, and ended up in downtown Fullerton, which is sort of between us. It's a very cool downtown and I enjoy being there. After walking around for a while looking for something fun to paint and a spot to set up two easels, we discovered a building that was vacant and had a largish alcove where we could be out of the way of passersby as well as out of the wind. The best part is that it was across the street from this scene. 

We were working on composition issues, and choosing what to leave out to make a stronger composition. This was a good example — obviously we left out the cars whizzing along the street, but we also left out a large grassy median and more trees. I loved the detail in the red building (occuped by a Buffalo Exchange in case you wondered), and obviously that was going to be the focal point. But how much detail to put in on the other storefronts? The Irish pub next door was great — the sign and flags balance the details in the shop window, and if you look closely you can see suggestions of the shamrocks in the pub window. I left out the faux window boxes and flowers painted above the pub — it would have been much too fussy. 

The shadows were much of what drew me to the scene in the first place. It was a blustery sort of day and the sun disappeared frequently. When the sun came out, I quickly put in shadows and snapped a couple of phone pics to refer to later.

After a couple of hours, our fingers were fairly numb and we packed up. After the painting was dry, I needed to do a bit of correction on perspective issues, and clarified some shadows.

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