After the first painting I thought this would go quickly. I tried the same approach I took with the first one: first sketching out the drawing, then trying to pick the lightest, darkest, and a middle tone to set the range of values. But it took me a while to figure out that in this picture, the sky is a middle tone, not a light. And I spent a lot of time building up paint on the buildings only to realize they were close to the initial gray of the canvas. I finally wiped out most of the more distant building then put it back in with a just a few strokes. Its amazing to me how little paint it took to describe it. Here’ how the painting looked when I finally figured out that the orange lights in the distance were the brightest tone in it:
Once I had this down I worked from back to front. The next part I built up was the middle ground of the closer building. I like that the green window is really bright but doesn’t distract too much from the main axis of the street.
FInally I went over the foreground again in a mix of alizarin crimson and prussian blue (my darkest dark). This part was a lot of fun because I didn’t have to worry about color and could just play with the brushstrokes.
Here’s a closeup of the foreground with the contrast adjusted so you can see the brushstrokes:
With the foreground dark I realized there was a gap in the painting. It had a foreground and a background but no middle. The last thing I did was to bring up the contrast at a few points in the middle ground: the borders of the lower windows, for instance, and the area around the car on the left.
Once again it was parts I neglected somewhat that were my favorites. I like how this part of the foreground works as an abstraction and still gives a sense of the car’s motion.