Monday, June 11, 2012

Alamo Square

This is supposed to be for A Day Not Wasted, May 2012 challenge. It's oil on 8x10 canvas panel.

When I first saw this challenge, I thought the idea was interesting, at the famous Alamo Square in San Francisco. (ref) However, the reference photo in my view was a bit problematic for painting. There was a limited amount of light and shadow contrast, or some may call it notan, in this very bright and sunny photograph. There was a lot of elements competing for attention, e.g. the painted ladies (old Victorian houses), the buildings behind it, the Transamerica pyramid building and the other tall brown building. 

I looked up on the internet to see if there were other Alamo Square photos. There was one with lights from inside the buildings at dusk. I thought that was interesting, but I didn't want to just copy that photo. I wanted to use that lighting idea in that photo and apply to this reference photo. So I sat on it thinking I would come revisit it before the deadline. Before I realized it, it was already June, and I've procrastinated for too long!

The challenge is not accepting anymore submissions.  However, I decided I would do this painting anyway to try out the different lighting effect, and with the bright yellow indoor lights. So I spent about three hours and did this very rough painting.  I painted the two tallest buildings out of the canvas so that the attention is not completely there, but more on the houses. There were more details inside the houses so to get people's attention there first.

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