Towns Road: Watertower, 8"x10", oil on panel SOLD
The following are a few urban plein tips I've sussed during my years 'on the streets':
* Solve drawing issues first. Complex urban scenes can be like a puzzle, and proportion and perspective are key to making it all fit.
* Be prepared for disruptions. A truck will park in front of you, and the driver will refuse to budge. And if those parked cars are important to your concept/composition, paint them in first. Because odds are very good they'll drive away before you finish.
* Be aware of the path of the sun. If you set up at 9:00 am facing east to paint a building, by 10:15 will the sun be above the roofline and blazing into your eyes?
* Some may claim that music on headphones enhances the experience of painting, but I don't recommend it, especially for urban work. I've been approached by dogs, friendly and otherwise, and people, friendly and not, and believe that awareness = safety. Further, the sounds of the city provide ample enhancement to the plein air experience.
* There are many things that attract the eye when choosing an urban subject. If you really want to capture that old Ford in the parking lot, or the faded Union Menswear sign, remember that context is part of what drew you to the scene. Portraying the car with little of the surrounding information is leaving a good part of the story out of the picture. Keep the image contemporary by recording the context and avoid nostalgia. That's all for now.