Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Start of a Key Bridge Painting

Many people ask me how I paint the Key Bridge/Georgetown paintings.  They are sort of my signature pieces, and I usually do about 4 or 5 a year.  They take a lot of work because there is so much architecture that has to be correct.  I spend hours on the drawing itself.  I've gotten smart over the years, and I save my drawings.  Then sometimes, I trace part of the drawing and do a section of the Key Bridge for a new painting, using an old drawing I had for a previous painting.

This is a painting I've just started for an upcoming show at The Art League (in the Torpedo Factory). It's called "Large", and all paintings have to be 30x40 inches or larger.  This one is 30 x 40 inches! I have to have it done by October 1st, so I've been madly painting to try and get this done.

If you look at the picture on the right, you'll notice tape on each side of the openings on the bridge.  I tape it because it's easier to get a clean straight line this way.

I also always start with the buildings.  I do this for two reasons.  The first reason is because the first time I ever did a painting like this, I did the sky first.  Then I did the buildings.  But I needed to reshape the building and cut them down a little, which meant I had to go back and mix up sky color and fix around the buildings.  Of course, it's impossible to match up the paint because it dries a different color than when it's wet.  So then I had to paint the sky all over again.

But the main reason I do the buildings first is because it's the part I hate.  It's so tedious and one must be so precise.  So I tell myself, "Ok, today, you must do 1/3 of the buildings. " It's like taking bad tasting medicine in small doses.  When I finish a third of the buildings, then I let myself paint something else. In this case, I painted the small opening archways.

After I finished all the small openings on the bridge, I remove the tape.  Then I stick the painting in the back of my car where it's nice and hot and this helps dry it by the next day.

Notice that the top of the towers are a little bit smudgy.  I will correct this when I put in the sky.

I will take pictures as I progress in this painting so that you can see how the painting evolves.

Let me know what you think as I work on this.

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