Friday, October 23, 2009

Challenge - City Rooftops

6"x6", oil on masonite

I'm a big fan of the website Different Strokes from Different Folks. Every 2 to 3 weeks Karin Jurick posts a reference photo, and anyone who cares to is invited to paint the image (or use whatever medium), then the paintings are posted on the website. It's fantastic seeing the different interpretations of the same photo.

This is the first one I've tried. I was really smitten with the subtle warm and cool grays in the reference photo, the linearity of the buildings, and the textures of metal and stone. I tried an experimental technique - first I drafted the shapes fairly precisely on the canvas, using pencil and drafting tools. I covered that with a thin layer of gesso - the lines were still visible, but muted (and would not bleed into the paint). Then I used oil paints in a very thin wash, almost as though they were watercolors. The texture of the board really came through.

This is the orientation I liked best. It's rotated 90° from the original. I meant the painting to be a collection of abstract shapes and this is how it looks best to me.


  1. This is a great blog - I've really enjoyed looking at your work. This is a very original and creative interpretation of the challenge!

  2. When I saw your painting I could not figure it out and thought it looked it looked rotated by 90 degrees. I dropped in to your blog and sure enough. It is a good use of color and an iteresting pattern of shapes.

  3. I was just scrolling through all of the paintings again for this challenge and yours caught my attention. Love the subtle colors and composition.


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