The Architecture of Painting
Painting people is what I love. The architecture of the painting is what makes them real. As much as I want to get deep into the flesh, muscles, facial expressions and body language of my subjects, I know that "where" they are is such an important element.
Architecture can be a man-made structure, like this gazebo. It can be a landscape or seascape, giving credibility, scale and a sense of place to the narrative. I'm slowly working my way across the ornate embellishments of the black and white gazebo that I saw on the lawn of the Cape Cod Museum of Art. As I paint, I discover subtle shades of blue, lilac, rose, green, yellow and gray. Even the black stripes are composed of prussian blue and van dyke brown, or alizarin crimson and viridian green.
Because there is so much area to cover, painting the "architecture" can be a little frustrating. Besides finishing the gazebo, I can already see that the sky has to be a lighter, clearer blue, less textured. The striped tents have to recede into the blueness.
Only then can I make the figures come alive. Give and take, foreground and background, there is still a long way to go.
Want see the progress so far? Watch the video below.