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"WALK"

Walk thumb 2

I originally sketched this painting in the late 80's in the financial district of San Francisco.

All of the people in their "business attire" attracted me. When I decided to finish the painting in 2012, I realized that the clothing was too dated. It was very distracting. I raised the hemlines of the women, and updated the men's ties.

My original painting was a study in complementary colors. Not too far into the modifications, I also recognized a need to change every color in the composition except for the main subjects green suit.

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The sketch just establishes the weight of the subjects. I wanted the woman and man in the center to dominate the painting. I generally use Strathmore watercolor paper for final sketches because I like the texture. Unfortunately, I have no remaining sketches from any of my paintings. It's a long story, but they were destroyed years ago, along with numerous unfinished canvases..

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The sketch above is a digital representation of one of the original sketches.

Below - The underpainting allows me to get my subjects laid out where I want them.

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I know in the final painting that the face of the woman at left center will draw instant attention. So I positioned her right arm to point at the man's face. From there the viewer's eye should move down the man's tie to the woman's left hand and back up to her face. They are the main subjects.

The polka dot blouse was initially going to be incorporated into the window reflection behind the woman on the right, but both the top and reflection were eliminated.

It was interesting to deal with the wind as well as the sun. I decided that rather than the usual sunlight direction from upper left, creating shadows toward lower right, I would position the sun almost directly overhead to minimize shadows, and have the wind come from the upper left, creating wrinkles in the clothing toward the lower right.

Below - With the sun overhead, shadows can get very interesting. In the beginning, I played with stripes and curved lines on the faces of the primary interests, but later decided it would be too complex to carry through the entire painting. I also had the woman in green grabbing her purse strap, but the purse was way too distracting, and smack in the middle of the scene.

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Above - When I started this painting in the late 80's,  The clothing was contemporary.

Now, ln 2012, it looks quite dated. I decided I'd stay with the old and review it later.

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Above - That didn't last long. The polka dot blouse and the long skirts had to go.

Since the wild red hair of the woman at left center was the main subject, I kept it.

I also tinkered with color, changing the women on the left to browns and purples.

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Above - Here I am working with a palette knife on the painting.

The purple dress is still bugging me. It's out of place. I've changed purples three times!

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Above - The purple dress is not going to happen. It has to be pink. I just can't balance the color composition with that purple dress. I must abandon my original concept of complimentary primaries and secondaries, and limit the big stage to red and green, blue and orange.

Above - I had to balance that flaming red hair of the main subject with a green suit.

But now, I have to spread that red and green around the rest of the painting.

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Above - The final painting - I'm pleased with the results. it was nice to get back to utilizing paint brushes along with the palette knives.

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Above - Close-up of the main subject - In the end, the striped facial shadows were toned down considerably.

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Above - Close-up of the secondary interest. His tie was always the only item that could compete with the main interest.

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Above - Primary interest of the painting. In this close-up, the layers of paint applied with palette knives, are evident.

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Above and Below - Close-ups to show the paint texture

                                            

 

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