Slow going

The advantage of reworking an old painting is that a lot of the problems have already been solved.  The drawing, for instance; the basic geometry.  In the last two “refashions” the overall light wasn’t bad so I could have fun working on the surface texture without worrying too much about the bones.

Starting a new painting from scratch has been slow going.  The reference image isn’t easy: there aren’t too many different values, nor a clear source of light.  And all the darks are in the details and high frequencies.  I’m also struggling a lot with the taxi on the far right.  Somehow I can’t get the perspective right.

What I like about this one so far: the texture, the Morandi-like palette of warm grays, the decision to omit most of the details from the front sidewalk.  The cars need shadows and the values need punching up.  Playing with the value histogram in photoshop made me think that maybe just darkening up a few details might do it.

In the meantime I am thinking about working more on these two:

These are both acrylic, started over a year ago and always intended to be underpaintings.  But Joey decided he liked them.  (Fact: there is no better compliment you can get as an artist than having a toddler like your painting.  Even if he mostly likes it because it has a train.)  And they are now both hanging on the wall over his bed.  I’m a little leery of messing with them because what if he doesn’t like them as much afterwards?  I can deal with critics but I’m not sure how I’d deal with my two year old’s disappointment.