Okay, so I was originally thinking of showing an intermediate step between the last post and this image of the finished painting. Sorry I'd forgotten that. But, in comparing the last post and the current one you can see how some things were kept basically the same with more detail added, and other things changed. For example, the street was initially painted a purple-blue gray color. Sometimes asphalt can look that way, but as I discovered by actually looking at the color of roads objectively, the color can vary depending on the age of the pavement and light conditions. I found pavement often tends to look a light olive tawny gray in sunlight. The color of the street earlier in the painting was based more on a preconception of what asphalt should look like and perhaps relying too much on the photos which were darker and muddier than I remembered the scene. I made this change after looking out the window at my street while working on the painting and suddenly the color of the street in the painting didn't seem right. So, I changed the color to match what I was actually seeing. Now, I think the color is truer and it harmonizes better with the rest of the painting. Even after 40 + years of painting, I'm still learning!
Another thing I noticed after I was well into the process, was that I have the street in the foreground area slanting to the left. It looks level in the photos. But, some mistakes are best left alone. I decided to leave the slanting street because I think it gives more of a sense of movement about the painting. Its almost as if you are in a car yourself, careening through town. For me, the painting process is a balance between visual accuracy and leaving so-called mistakes to make the image engaging. In other words, control and spontaneity.
Looking back at the earlier photos, you'll see that I started the cars with the lightest and darkest values (essentially black and white) on the burnt sienna under wash. From there it was a matter of adding the values and colors in between. I find this can be a helpful way to get value and color right. One of the rules of painting is to never use straight black or white because they're not true colors. I generally follow this, but notes of pure black and white can be used effectively. I think the no black or white rule originated with the impressionists. The key is to not over use them as that can make a painting look dead color-wise. In this painting I used touches of pure black, particularly in the shadows under the cars for depth and touches of pure white in highlights, giving the painting a look of sparkling sunlight.
Hopefully, anyone reading this blog will find it helpful. Thank you for reading.