Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"The Beltway"

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas
Available for purchase via PayPal
If you drive the beltway around Washington, DC often, you might recognize this section of road - It's just after I-270 merges with I-495 on the inner loop. I guess that would be Bethesda straight ahead. The traffic wasn't as thick as shown in the painting when the idea occurred to me and I wasn't able to pull out the camera for a photo. Luckily, I found some photos of the beltway on Google Images that helped me to put it together.

I know this isn't the most beautiful painting in the world, but it's not meant to be. Despite its ugliness, I'm fond of this one because it's impressionistic in every sense of the word. The cars and the trees and the faint buildings in the distance are nothing but shapes at close view, but step back and the image comes into focus.

The colors are ugly, just like the traffic. I used burnt umber, titanium white, cadmium yellow and cadmium orange to give an early morning rushhour feel, but I focussed on the browns because that's kind of how I feel when I'm sitting in traffic. With the sun just coming up over the trees in late winter and the smog from the cars, everything looks a little brown anyway. On the left side of the painting, you can see some white flashes poking through the trees - These white flashes are the brightest colors in the painting and hopefully, the point of focus. I wanted to give the impression of blinding sun just around the bend in the road.

I posted the thumbnail and underpainting so that you can see the process. After I drew the thumbnail on paper and figured out how I wanted things arranged, I toned the canvas with burnt umber (brown) and then used Q-tips dipped in turpentine to erase the highights and let the white canvas show through. At the same time, I sketched in some of the darker shades to help with the final layout. Finally, I warmed it up with a little cadmium orange and yellow and added some bright white for highlights and that was it.

As you can see, there is a PayPal icon on display beside this painting. PayPal is extremely easy and secure and you don't have to pay anything to use it. Just click and PayPal will guide you through the payment process. I will put a PayPal icon beside any new painting that is for sale.

Thanks to all of the new followers!

1 comment:

  1. this perfectly captures the beltway! gotta love the dc traffic