The picture is based a picture we took when we visited the Forbidden City in Beijing, China last fall. The photo was originally from the prospective of us, the tourist, looking up at these awesome buildings. In this painting, to make it less boring, I changed the perspective as being from a bird's point of view, flying towards one of the buildings. The angles of the perspectives are also skewed and a little more severe.
As the roofs took up the majority of the canvas, I created extra interest for the roofs with texture paste. Using a plastic fork, I created grooves on the paste. Texture paste was also used for some of the columns to give them a raised feel as well as some of the windows. That was a painstaking process, and took a few sessions at the Arthouse just on the texture.
Once the texture paste was dried, I painted with oil with the main color being Chinese red, vermilion, cadmium orange, chrome yellow, red brown, ultramarine violet and marine, raw and burnt umber, prussian blue, viridian and compose blue. At the end I added many details into the painting, including these little statues at the corner of the roof unique to ancient Chinese architecture, symbols on the exterior wall just under the roofs (those took a long time), as well as the gold color pattern at the top of the center building using pure gold color in acrylic.
This painting took a total of 4 months worth of sessions at Anastasia Art House. I finally had it framed, and it is hung now in my husband's office at work.