So I have recently just finished this large piece entitled ‘Vienna at night’. It was based on a photo that I shot last year while walking home throught the inner city.
The entire piece was a challenge in itself. I had never worked with shadows and different lighting before, especially with artificial lighting from the signs and the stand. I started with the outline to get the shapes and proportions correct.
From there it was just a process of adding lighter shades in layers until I had it built up enough to introduce some colour to separate the different aspects such as the walls and the street. A few figures even appeared.
Once the basis was there it was just a case of choosing a section, for example the back wall, and working on each section until it was a little more defined. You can see the bricks in the wall have appeared, the stand is starting to come to the foreground and the figures have some very basic black & white tones.
The next few steps are just patiently building up layer after layer. Introducing more lighter shades to the scene. This is where it became a little difficult for me and took me out of my comfort zone. I began to go back over the background and the stand and began layering the lighter shades.
I then worked from right to left, constantly adding a more lighter shades and picking out more detail.
The most painstaking aspect was the detail of the drinks and appliances inside the stand. You don’t realise how many separate cans of beer are then until you have to paint them one at a time!
More lighting and some facial details for the chef. I especially loved how the blue plastic bags turned out on either side (it’s the little victories).
Last but not least came the signage on top, along with another pass on the details and yet another pass with just white to really bring the finer details out and tie it all together.
…………….and there we have it! I have learned a lot painting this piece and it really pushed me to challange myself and learn some new techniques. I had thought at the beginning that it would be time consuming but I didn’t take into account the times when I got completely lost and wasn’t sure where to work next. It taught me new limits of patience and also trial and error.
I hope that you have enjoyed this article. Hopefully it will the first of many. Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think.