Sunday, February 21, 2010

Street Cafe


This is something a bit different from what I have posted. I did this recently for a challenge on Web Canvas. Urban scenes are not my forte, but I do love how they depict a small glimpse into a piece of the world. They have activity and people and a vibration to them, and to capture that I find very difficult. I am usually a details painter, spending perhaps way too much time with the small thin brushes. However, when the scene becomes busy for me (such as an urban scene), I tend to go more abstract - which I did here. It always amazes me that I paint shapes, and colors - but when I stand back, it actually looks like a cafe scene!

Acrylic on canvas, 9x12

3 comments:

AutumnLeaves said...

It is so lovely, Nancie! I am reminded of a cafe scene that Van Gogh painted, for some reason. I wish I could do more of that...painting the shapes rather than concentrating so much on the intricate details. I go wrong every time when I do that. I seem to be unable to actually see the overall shape, oddly enough. Hard for me to see hearts, ovals, triangles, squares in a face, for example. Anyway, I think this is beautiful; I am reminded of European streets...

Nancie Johnson said...

Hi Sherry. Thank you for your kind words. This is a street scene from Germany, so you are correct! As far as seeing the shapes in things, I have quite a bit of trouble doing that, but I am getting better, and am training my eyes to see differently. Something I've been doing as a learning experience is open a photo in Photoshop (any photo edit program) on the computer & use the filters to alter the image. I find that using the Cutout or one of the other filters allows me to reduce a scene to just shapes. You can control the amount & size of the shapes in the filter. Print it, study it, then paint it. Also, converting the image to grayscale allows me to see/study the values more - then I decide the colors to use.

AutumnLeaves said...

Great tips, Nancie! I do not have photoshop, just what came with the computer. I've never used filters, but I'm going to see if the program has them. I am learning to see the contrasts of values, however, by using the grayscale feature. Thank you so much for sharing some wisdom!

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