I liked the idea and I sketched it again, this time with a little more attention to the shapes.
I thought it was beginning to shape up, so I made one more sketch, this time going for a elongated panorama.
I felt that the concept was working nicely, but I was also very conscious of the potential imbalance of the composition, particularly with the only bright light to the right of the painting. In my notes on my sketches I wrote that the lightest area in the painting other than the sky and the reflections on the ground was actually the building to the left. I decided to try a 'color sketch', not something I've ever done before, to see if this would bring some balance to the composition. I was reluctant to use a new canvas on this experiment, so I taped off a 8"x16" section on a slightly used canvas and with oils I did a direct study in color. I spent a little extra time on the sign trying to learn to paint neon for the first time...
Without really planning it, I moved the buildings slightly to the right, and inadvertently solved another problem. The left hand vertical line of the building faces no longer bisects the canvas. A big improvement. At this point, I'm very happy with the subject. I think the composition is OK and I feel like the grayness of the day has been captured. I really like the subtle colors of the neon sign and the window. I want to avoid the fictionalized Kincaid look, but I do want to have this light the focal point of the painting. And I want it to be the invitation to come in from the old and wet....as it was in real life.
|The struggle continues in Part 2|