This is a painting I've been working on the last few days. It's based on a photo I took in the SoHo neighborhood of New York in 2006. I'm continuing to work on making these cityscape images more immediate, loose, and painterly. I usually sketch the image onto the surface first with oil bar or acrylic. My goal is to carry that sketch-like quality into the painting style. This will be on display at this Friday's Open Studios at the Cornelia Arts Building. SoHo Fire Escapes - work in progress, oil on panel
Here's the photo reference:
Here's another painting I hope to finish in time for the March 21 Cornelia Arts Building Open Studios. Based on a photo I took near Wabash and Van Buren in Chicago. I'm not happy with the current state of the train but nothing that a little more paint can't fix! Transit Skyline, oil on panel (work in progress), 2014
Here's the photo reference:
Last July, I spent an afternoon walking around shooting architectural photos of the water tanks and warehouses in River North. This is a painting I started a couple days ago, based on a view from an alley off of Chicago Ave. and LaSalle St. Next steps will be to add a little more detail to the buildings and then add all of the electrical wires. I plan on having this finished for the March 21st Open Studios. River North Electricity - Painting in Progress, oil on panel
And here's the photo this is based on:
I've been working on a couple of projects early this year. One is a series of collaborative paintings (more on that in a future post) and a series of cityscapes. I've been working from my imagination but also shooting photos, sketching and walking around downtown to get inspiration. Unfortunately, the Chicago winter weather has limited some of that walking around. I finished one cityscape and have two others that are a little more than halfway done and starting to work on composition ideas for another. For most of these, I've also started assembling the frame and stretching the canvas myself. It's labor intensive but an enjoyable process. All are oil on canvas. Downtown Lofts, oil on canvas, 28x28, 2014
While I continue working on the skyline cityscape painting, I started this new abstract cityscape.
It's really more from the imagination but I am using a photo reference. The photo is of some buildings reflected in a glass facade on Washington St. in Chicago. I'm aiming to exaggerate the window's and building's shapes in order to give the image a more animated quality. Lots more layers of paint to go but off to a decent start.
With the holidays and some traveling I haven't been to the studio much lately. But, need to get back to this cityscape work in progress which is based on one of my favorite views of the skyline from the Brown Line CTA train.
I did make it in to the studio on New Year's Day for a little bit and worked on some drawings - oil bar and acrylic on record album cover:
As I work on the commission painting of the Chicago skyline, I continue to working on other projects. The below cityscape paintings of the John Hancock building, Marina Towers and L tracks are just about finished. I enjoy working on multiple pieces at once because its helps create cohesiveness between the different paintings. Also, I can experiment on one piece which then will help me develop ideas for another. I can loosen up with these pieces which then gives me greater focus when I work on the commission painting.
I started a new commission painting for a friend late last week. She is looking for a cityscape in my abstract style. There were certain colors and concepts we talked about and now the composition is taking shape. I based the concept on different photographs I shot from various spots with a good view of the Chicago skyline. I also did some sketches and a test painting before starting.
Here's what the painting looked like after some initial layers of acrylic and spray paint:
Now with the composition sketched in with charcoal:
And then with some paint starting to get added:
Lots more to go but off to a good start!
We have a late August heatwave happening here in Chicago. A perfect time to start on a new commission painting in a studio with no AC! Part of my process for creating custom paintings is doing a lot of sketches and taking photos. Once I come up with a composition then I start painting. Here's a photo I shot yesterday while walking around in 95 degree heat.