Wednesday, July 30, 2014

View a NEW oil painting from START to FINISH!

"Sidewalk Cafe #2"

This is one of those paintings I wanted to paint for years and years.  The energy was finally there and I was ready to begin.  Sometimes it takes hours to choose the right photo. The next decisions are which substrate to paint on and what size to use.  I chose a 12" x 16" which is one of my favorite smaller sizes.  I then selected a beautiful Raphael Premium Archival Panel as my substrate.  These panels are gorgeous - expensive - but gorgeous to paint on. Each decision will determine the style and brushes I will use in my creative process.
I sketched the image onto the panel and began with the background.  I never start my paintings the same way. I don't want to become a formula painter so I mix it up. When figures with faces are my subject  I generally begin with the face. In this case, I began with the background. The panel is so fabulous  the paint just flows. 

 I chose bristle filberts as my choice for brushes - I was going for texture!

I was happy with the composition and placement of figures in this outside cafe.  You can see on the lower right I have a figure on a bicycle.  I wanted to lay down a base to serve as my underpainting.  Now I will proceed to the figures.

I am happy with the color palette evolving.  The building is a beautiful yellow.  I love to paint with yellow which is the color of FUN! I have to make several adjustments to the waiter and people at the table to make this piece readable.

I now have all the characters in place and I need to decide on the sidewalk and details on the figures and windows. This cafe is going to need some wording in the windows.  It is taking on a nice painterly effect and I add in some red to the windows (I have to put RED in almost every painting.  It is my signature color!)   I worked on the door on the left and omitted most of the detail.  I punched up the door with a green hue.  The fun expressionist strokes on the sidewalk will probably have to go to make way for the final sidewalk.

I add the words and more detail to the windows and figures and  the bike.  I add in the sidewalk curb to give the foreground an interesting horizontal line to coincide with the cafe's linear movement.   The paint is thick.  The strokes are spirited and very impressionistic.  I made adjustments to the waiter and added a red tie. I gave the chairs, windows and all the figures  more attention.  I set the piece aside to dry.

This painting took a lot longer than I anticipated.  They usually do.  I was finally ready to put the finishing strokes on this piece.  I added more detail throughout and finished the sidewalk. With all the detail going on in the painting, I wanted the sidewalk to be a bit quiet, yet fun and flavored with the colors reflecting off the yellow cafe and figures.  Each stroke brings me closer to being completed and I could quit at any time now.  Being the perfectionist I am, I go over the entire painting with a keen eye and make minor adjustments with a #2 filbert.  I add some lines in the sidewalk to pull the eye into the piece and additional shadows on the building, figures and under the bicycle.  The hue on the sidewalk coincides with my green door on the left and the fun yellow.  I am pleased, finally and the painting is ready to be photographed, signed, framed and shipped off to the gallery.

I chose a black gallery frame that has a built in warm gold ribbed fillet to frame in the piece.
                                      "Sidewalk Cafe #2"oil on panel, 12" x 16"  

I love this painting and was proud to sign my name to it.  

            This painting SOLD two days after it arrived at                                            The Greenberg Gallery, Santa Fe, NM!!

I am always adding additional paintings to my website. Let me know if you enjoyed seeing the progression from start to finish of one of my paintings.  

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Thank you for enjoying my art.


September McGee

Elected Member, Allied Artists of America, NY