"View From Cliff Drive" represents a popular parking spot for lovers in my hometown of Spokane WA. This is about half done at state #4, and I'm trying to keep the color key from going too dark. I want the scene to be on the other edge of dusk, where the light is fading on the horizon.
The initial cartoon was done in a matter of minutes, literally. I knew that much of the detail in the cityscape would be lost on the first pass, so didn’t want to waste too much time delineating it. I thought that if I could treat the major buildings as landmarks, I could find the rest. The initial lay-in was a thin wash, diluted w/ gum spirits of turpentine, just to get a sense of the major value areas. The second pass helped to articulate some of the major masses, and provided a foil for the lights in the middle ground and textures in the foreground.
The third and fourth states I began to establish the buildings and the city lights, the fifth state the sky and forground rocks were developed.
I think part of the trick of doing a good painting is not being satisfied with your first impression, but not straying too far from it either. This painting has a ways to go. The middle ground will become more elaborate and a bit tighter, but with the lights somewhat diffused and with hints of afterimage. The foreground will become more textural but still slightly out of focus, as will the trees on the cliffside.
Update: This painting has been extensively revised, and comparative changes can be viewed in a subsequent post here.
This is a piece that has been in progress for a few weeks, now nearing completion. It is oil on prepared paper, and represents 3 different states on 3 different days.