Thursday, March 1, 2012

A challenge to simplify...... "6th Street", Pastel, 11" x 14", Painted on Uart sanded paper

Artist Terry Miura posted a challenge on his blog to simplify a citiscape.   Artists from all over the globe are participating, and you can see the results on his blog.  There is some really beautiful work, thank you Terry for challenging me to work outside my comfort zone - waaaay outside my comfort zone!

I found I really enjoyed painting this, so much so that I just may try another sometime.  I honestly thought that I wouldn't be able to accomplish the goal but I did, for me this is pretty 'simplified'.  No windows on the buildings, not much detail in the cars, and the distant ones are just dots!  The trees don't even have much detail, this was a real accomplishment for me.

I took the original photo and cropped it to what I thought would be a pleasing composition.  That was one of his "rules", crop the photo, don't paint everything you see.

Here are my steps, starting with a watercolor underpainting done on Uart sanded paper, 400 grit.
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

For my next step, I just started pasteling.  I worked from back to front, just because it felt right.  No real reason other than it felt natural.  I used strictly Ludwig pastels, and this painting just intensified my need for more of these lucious pastels.  They are just georgous, fantastic for working on edges.

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

You can see in this step I started painting the cars.  They were much easier to paint knowing I didn't need to put in any detail.  I just concentrated on the larger shapes.  I used the colors I used in the buildings, I tried to keep my palette harmonious.  The same reds were used in the signs as were used in the cars.  Even the blues and purples are the same.  Terry is right, selecting a color palette and sticking to it keeps everything harmonious.

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Here is my final step, I completed the cars, put in the distant red lights, and added some street "lines".  I'm calling this painting "6th Street" because the street sign actually reads 6th Street.  I have no idea where this is, but it is "6th Street".....
© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.


Cindy said...


This is truly simply beautiful and inspiring.


Christine DiMauro said...

Thanks so very much Cindy, you're so very nice!

Ida M. Glazier said...

Christine, Wow, first time to your blog for me, and I love it!!! Your art is so beautiful, really love 6th street, and all the other work as well. The animals are wonderufl!! I know you do use canson , but do you use the uart alot?? I love both those papers, and uart really does take watercolor well. I am so glad I saw your blog!!!! (IMaybe on WC)

Christine DiMauro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine DiMauro said...

Hi Ida! So kind of you to stop by, I truly appreciate it. Thanks so very much, you're so very nice!

You know, I've been using Wallis paper quite often for my landscapes. I don't like the way it buckles for wet media, and I wanted to do a watercolor underpainting on this one, so I tried Uart. Worked like a charm! No buckle whatsoever. I really do like Uart, it works much like Wallis, and I think I will be using it for my landscapes much more often. I like the fact that I can set my pencil sketch with the watercolor, then pastel away. The Wallis really isn't conducive to that, so Uart may be my new "go to" paper for landscapes! I could see using it for florals, using a watercolor underpainting also. I will probably stick to Wallis for my portrait commissions, I really love the Wallis for that. I also do work with Canson paper, especially for charcoal sketches and workshop portraits. It's a great paper that gives different results.

See you on WetCanvas Ida!