This was one of those crazy weeks when I thought I’d never get anything done for the current Different Strokes From Different Folks challenge hosted by Karin Jurick. My first mistake was forgetting to seal the paper before I started painting in oils. The paper sucked all the oils out of the paint and it felt like Play-Doh under my brush. I should’ve just started over, but I kept torturing myself with it. Here’s where it was when I abandoned it:
It didn’t totally suck – the light was okay in parts of it – but I didn’t like how tentative it looked. It was obvious I was unsure of myself and was adding detail just because I didn’t know what else to do.
I needed to loosen up, and it was too early in the day for wine, so I turned on some music, got out my acrylics, out and did a quickie:
Not pretty, but it got me out of that paint-every-detail mindset so I could move on. I started wondering how much detail I could omit and still have it read as a street on a hill. Using the same colors I used in the first painting, I painted this:
I almost left it like that, but I thought it needed a couple more identifying elements:
Hopefully now it looks more like city streets than a canyon.
I tried a new technique to get the telephone pole straight: I dipped the edge a piece of cardboard in paint and stamped it on.
This is going to be one of those paintings people either like, or will say “WTF?” 🙂
Just in case any of you artists are still working on this challenge and need a street view of some of the finer details, here’s the location:
View Larger Map
This is actually a block closer than Karin’s view, at the 3-way intersection at the bottom of the hill. I know that view well – Karin was probably next to the San Francisco Art Institute when she took the reference photo. There’s a cable car line that goes from Taylor to Columbus in this intersection, so painting in a cable car wouldn’t be out of the question. (I thought about it…) Just around the corner on Columbus, you’ll see the world famous Bimbo’s 365 Club. Up at the top of Telegraph Hill a couple of blocks over is Coit Tower, which has some really cool murals in it.