October 2, 2011

Sixteenth Street

Acrylic on Panel - 11 x 14 inches -   SOLD

Back to new paintings...
This is from a reference photo I took while going down one of the many hills on 16th Street, heading back from Portrero hill.

I've been having a color problem with street surfaces lately, and this is a good example. Streets are paved with a material that is mostly gray, so streets are grey. However they are lit by the sun for they should be warm. So, they're tan. Except in the shadows, where they're blue. Argh.

I stood on the hill for a while and started seeing all sorts of colors up and down the hills in SF (which as you may know are often not parallel to the horizon). As clouds came and went and the sun darted in and out, I saw all sorts of colors. It almost looked funny. I mean, to have a long held belief that asphalt and concrete are grey, and then to be presented with such a range was kinda mind melting.

I think I managed to incorporate some of that here. The photo's not the best capture of the painting, and it looks completely different on three different monitors here. (Fully saturated colors are pretty easy to calibrate on screen, but these subtle shades are much harder and look very different when the shift by a few degrees).


Marla said...

I got a new pair of sunglasses recently that do wild things with shadowed areas. I've been wearing them on purpose when I paint en plein air. I know you're not supposed to do that, but it's the only way I really see all those subtle colors. I noticed that the roads have an almost lavender tinge to them, and the shadows can be a deep turquoise. When I look with just my regular eyes, I think "gray."

Gringo Zero said...

Too funny. I have these intense polarizing sunglasses which really up the contrast and make things look much better than "reality". I usually take them off when painting, but sometimes forget.

However, they don't shift the color/hue all that much. Just make sure yours have UV protection.