There are some street corners that always put on a show. This corner of King Street West at York changes colour as the sign on the Standard Life Building turns. I have several photos featuring different colour patterns. It was a challenging scene to paint.
People head home from work on a rainy night in the Financial District.
I have some shows coming up and I want to work on some studies for larger paintings. I find that it really helps to do a smaller painting when there will be so much time, paint, and energy to go into the finished product.
I took this scene last January in the early evening when it was minus 20 celcius. The air was clear and the sky very blue. The blue reflected on many of the surfaces. In spite of the cold, there was a lot of interesting light and reflections.
I have done this image before but thought I would do it iagain with a different colour palette..This young lady is heading home, crossing King Street, dwarfed by the streetcar waiting at a stop light. I often cross the same street several times as I take photos, hoping for some interesting images. This time it paid off.
The Princess of Wales theatre is visible on the left.
I really enjoy taking photographs. They aren't always the best quality, but I don't need a lot of detail to use them as reference for painting. I find so many interesting people in the background of these pictures, and I have often thought of compiling them into a group of paintings called "Just Walking in the Rain".
I really enjoyed this picture. The young woman appeared to be out for a fitness walk while the Basset Hound looked completely dejected. I guess we don't all like walking in the rain.
This woman and her dog are walking in front of the Gooderham building preparing to cross Front Street.
I know I couldn't leave this painting alone. I wasn't happy with the atmosphere. The photo reference was a lot more "glowy" and atmospheric and looked more like a rainy day. So, of course I left it on the easel and ended up reworking it. I still find turquiose and orange to be difficult colours when attempting harmony and proper value. Hopefully I learned something from the experience.
Which painting do you prefer? I would love to learn from your comments.
I'm having some fun doing quick paintings (under three hours) and adding some colour. I often use a limited palette to achieve a dark moody look, but I decided to brighten things up a bit. This scene had a lot of turquoise blue in it so I found a tube of cobalt teal in a paint drawer and added that. Its more difficult maintaining proper values with more colour (for me anyway). I will look at the same scene in black and white to make sure I am not deviating from my value sketch.
This scene is at Queen and Yonge and features the pathway above Queen Street.
I have several paintings in the studio that I am not happy with, so I have been painting over them with an old tube of white oil paint to reuse the canvas. This particular canvas I actually had to carefully use a razor scraper to get all the annoying bits of paint off.
Its a rainy day today, so I decided to do a quick downtown rainy image. I kept the painting time to two and a half hours. (Actually it is time to stop painting, take off the painting smock and put on the cooking apron.)
Staying with the theme of "Summer in the City" I couldn't resist doing this group of shoppers crossing Queen Street with the late afternoon reflections. Some paintings I just have to do because the subject is "fun". Although they are generally just as difficult as what we might call "more serious". I may add a little blue to the shadows...still wondering about the temperature in relation to the warm yellow of the road.
Its hard to believe that summer is half over, but there are lots of great days left. This scene features downtown Toronto on a sunny summer day. I took a break from rainy scenes and also added some colours to my usual palette of:Ultramarine blue, Alizarin crimson, transparent oxide red, cadmium yellow deep, cadmium red, viridian. I added cadmium orange, cad yellow light, and cad red light. Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for the photo reference.
In a boat yard, there are always boats that don't make it into the water when summer arrives and so they spend the season "on the hard".This painting features the early morning light, glinting off of the boats, their masts and lines and creating sparkles on the water.
The small boat club, Hamilton Bay Sailing Club always has interesting names for their boats. The boat in the foreground is a "Sirius" and so it was aptly named "Sirius Lee Social".
We have a small sailboat in Hamilton Harbour and spend part of the summer around boats. Every summer, I like to do a few marina scenes. This scene features the dock across from us just after a rain. The dark clouds were receding and a bit of light trying to break through. I like the name of the middle boat "Time Well Wasted" ..
I have been away from the studio for a bit, spending time with visiting family and various other summer time commitments. I hope to get back to steady painting very soon. In the meantime, I wanted to mention the Jazz and Art show that is presently on at Petroff Gallery.The show runs until August 8 and features some great paintings, glass, jewellery and sculpture. It is a beautiful setting on Eglinton Avenue in a renovated bank. I was very impressed with how they combined the colours of my paintings with the other items for sale. Stop in and have a look
I never knew where the expression "Dark and Stormy Night" originated until I looked it up and found it to have been written in 1830 by Edward Bulwar Lytton, an English novelist. I couldn't get the expression out of my head while I was painting. It was known as a melodramtic style of writing and has since become a cliche.
I did a similar painting to this a while back and wanted to do it on a larger scale. The Gothic Revival building in the background is part of the University of Toronto, built in 1875. It is situated at no 1 Spadina Crescent.
To establish a dark moody feeling, I used a palette of Viridian, Cadmium red, Ivory Black, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, and Titanium white.
I know, why am I painting snow? My daughter came into the studio and "seriously?" is pretty much what she said. I asked her what she thought and she just said "I don't know..I can't even relate." Fair enough...we had a tough winter this past year.
Whenever I do a show, I like to have a variety of paintings and I was low on the snow scenes, so I thought I would do this one. I have done this scene on a smaller scale, and wanted to do it a little larger. I have to admit that I love snow. And I loved the atmosphere on the day that I took the reference photo.
This scene is on Spadina during a blustery snowy day. This painting will be available at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square July 4,5,6.
This is another Jazz themed painting for the Jazz show at Petroff Gallery July 19th. Queen Street in Toronto still has many older small buildings mixed with larger newer ones. (As most streets in downtown Toronto).Of course the smaller older ones are always more aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian friendly.
The Rex Hotel is a great venue for jazz. I took the photo reference on a Thursday evening as patrons were arriving to catch the shows.