Wednesday, August 25, 2010

East 42nd Street - SOLD


If you head over to the Wet Canvas Landscape forum, you'll find their monthly challenge. This challenge usually offers multiple reference photos to choose from, with varying landscape designs/concepts. They range from farmland, to lakes & rivers, to cityscapes. I can't pass up a cityscape, it seems, because of all the references for this month, this cityscape is the one I "just had to paint."

Painting buildings is not all that difficult really, once you understand the vanishing point rule. NYC, or the concrete canyons as they are sometimes called, is a perfect example of this working. All horizontal lines point to the one vanishing point in the back distance, and all vertical lines are drawn down between them.

My father taught me about perspective and vanishing point a long time ago, when I was a kid. He was not a draftsman by trade, but could read blueprints and understood design. He would have me practice, over and over, drawing the inside of a room based on the vanishing point(s) concept. All the furniture, pictures on walls, the walls themselves, and even the wallpaper design worked with the vanishing point concept. To a kid, this was absolutely fascinating. I mean, I drew our entire kitchen on a piece of paper - and it actually looked like the kitchen!  What great training that was, because I still remember what he taught me and still utilize the concept to this day (and he taught me these things probably some 45 years ago).

The vanishing point concept was used with this image. I have the road & sidewalks all pointing to one spot, and all the buildings & windows pointing to a slightly higher spot. I did this to try & capture the sense of "height" in NYC. Walking down any of these streets, it's easy to feel like a very small spot in comparison to the tall, concrete mountains that surround you. These tall buildings create wonderful shadows against each other, depending on how low in the sky the sun is. (no different than a group of trees would do in a field). However, the shadows cast by the buildings have the square, box shape of the buildings - which adds to the design, I think.

Acrylic on 9x12 canvas

3 comments:

Angela said...

Great Perspective. Love the trees. I can almost feel the leaves blowin in the breeze.

AutumnLeaves said...

This is so lovely, Nancie. I think it is the trees that truly draw me in. I am reminded of the old story "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," something I read as a child. I should read it again...Anyway, truly a glorious piece!

Virginia Floyd said...

I really like your style. I like how you simplified the photo and made the painting much more interesting than the photo! Very nice painting.

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