Ah my nemesis, finally started. It took me 3 days to sketch/draw the buildings onto the canvas. Then 5 attempts at colors in the sky since the references I had didn’t meet my vision. So after one week this is what the sky looked like. It will change again in the end but it’s easy to change what you don’t like once you have paint on the canvas. It’s impossible to change something if you don’t put the paint down first. July 11-17th, 2014.
Week 2: The buildings – I developed a system that would allow me the most efficient use of my time and eyes. The two challenges were: 1) Straight and parallel lines in the buildings and floors and windows across the entire skyline and 2) I could not paint for more than 2 hours at a time before I would start seeing double and needed a half to full hour to relax the muscles in my eyes (which led to 12-14 hour days). The details were small and the size of the brush used for the entire skyline of buildings was a 0. That’s about 15 bristles incase the number doesn’t mean anything to you.
July 18th, day one of week 2: I corrected the sketch/drawing of the first 3 inches of buildings (from the left) and drew them to scale regarding size, shape, and outline. I used a scale to draw the lines straight this first time. I then blocked in the colors of the basic shapes of the buildings. To the left of the canvas was a 32 inch monitor with multiple jpgs of the actual buildings (I usually had 4 windows open at once showing me all the details of the buildings). That was day one – I let the paint form a skin over night of those basic shapes of the first 5 buildings.
July 19th: The details are added on the first block of buildings. 2 hours on; 1/2 hour off. Grab the calculator, measure the width and length of the left side of the first building. Pull up the close up jpgs of the building and count the number of windows and floors. Do the math and determine how wide and tall the windows will be and how tall the floors will be. The other challenge is making all the floors parallel and consistent with the perspective and same with the windows. It takes all day to finish the details of the first block of buildings. Then prepare for the 2nd block for the next day. Block in the shapes!
July 20th: Getting in the rhythm now. Details in the morning while the eyes are fresh. Next block of shapes after dinner when the eyes and mind are growing tired. The Sears/Willis Tower was the 3rd most challenging building to complete. Many boxes and shapes in the architecture.
Week 3 July 18th-25th:
Week 4 July 26th-31st: I’m getting tired and impatient. I can only paint for an hour and a half at a time before I see double and have to rest my eyes for 30 minutes.
Patience at it’s limit, so calling on old Marine training of do what you have to do. I’m still painting everyday as much as I can from morning til sleep. It’s August now.
The AON Building details. 9 inches tall; 16 parallel lines; all drawn free hand. It took 3 days to get the one building right and multiple erasers! Really excited about doing the water now!
Treeline was fun after all those weeks of details! Hooray for impressionism! Playing with the water and it’s colors now.
Basic water colors added in. Foreground next.
Added trees, added sculpture, unlit the lamp post, added more trees and lamposts … nothing seemed correct! Days later … week later … many different trials … Finally figured it out!
I painted over the foreground that did nothing to add to the skyline. The grass and things just distracted one’s eye from the beautiful architecture of what is one of the most beautiful shores. All toll, almost 3 months of work. It took all of me, my engineering, my artistry and my Marine Corps patience and determination to get the painting finished. Thanks for joining me!