NYC: #4 Inspiration Study

I’m starting to plan #4 before I’ve even finished killing #3. I am going to start #4 tomorrow, but first I’m going to evaluate some cityscapes that I admire from other artists.

I’ll post some photos of paintings I found from a quick google search, and link to where I found them. Sometimes, it’s hard to get the title of a painting, but I’ll supply the ones I can find. I’ll also list quick notes about what I like about each one.

Morning Time by Nanasaheb Yeole
  1. Hazy simple yellow sky
  2. Clear focal point and sense of light
  3. Very clean line work
  4. Excellent perspective
  5. Lots of details without feeling bossy because the details are all so similar in value except in the focal point
  6. Textures on the shadowed buildings.
  7. Sense of atmosphere created by desaturate great and softening distant buildings.
  8. Lots of lost and found edges in the focal point.
  9. Punch of blue on the bus windshield.
Indian City Avenue Watercolor by Nitin Singh
  1. Loosely defined images in the foreground and background contribute to the depth of field.
  2. Loose linework is purposeful, contributing to a sense of chaos and busy city noise.
  3. Lost and found edges in the buildings on the left – a simple wash of color lightly defined with confident brushwork.
  4. Punches of color are off-set. Red in upper left, and lower right. White in upper middle, and lower middle, gold in upper left and lower right, black in upper right and lower left.
  5. Reflections are horizontal, with interesting dry brush work on the horizontal.
  6. Negative painting around signage, which clearly reads as signage without enough detailing to brand.
  7. Fearless linework on the power lines contribute to sense of chaos without being bossy.
I can’t find the title of this because Pinterest is the dead end of the Internet… but I know it’s by Nitin Singh
  1. Confident vertical in the near middle, doesn’t interrupt composition because its light value.
  2. Figures are heading off the composition instead of into it, making me feel more “in the moment”
  3. Colors off-set again.
  4. Figures clearly read as figures, substantial in scope, without being precisely defined.
  5. Crisp shadows clearly define horizontal plane of the road.
Joseph Zbukvic
  1. Limited color palette doesn’t feel boring due to light sprinkling of color. Almost gem like.
  2. Flawless rhythm and perspective in the drawing.
  3. Confidently allowing large structures to be loosely defined by lightly lifting pigment.
  4. Lack of crisp lines in distance contributes to atmosphere and mood.
  5. Cars are perfectly rendered in the drawing.
  6. Traffic light pointing in the wrong direction in the left, but who cares?
  7. Fabulous wet in wet on the road without feeling like a gimmick because it softens and desaturates.
  8. Whites left in the road add a sense of sheen.
  9. Street lights are perfectly placed and spaced adding rhythm and perspective without taking over.
Joseph Zbukvic
  1. Blurred reds add sense of motion.
  2. Perfectly rendered reflections on the windshield are just loose strokes of dark value.
  3. Careful preservation of whites around headlights, with very subtle lost and found edges in such a small space make that car feel like it’s moving.
  4. Additional highlights in opaque white on figures made it possible to paint them with a clean wash without fiddling around the shoulders.
  5. The atmosphere is butter – the way the buildings recede via edge control instead of relying on values makes the painting feel like there is a moody bustle in the distance, it’s dark, but it still feels distant.
  6. Distance is defined almost entirely by edge control.
  7. Blurred shadows and soft edges under the cars add to sense of motion and mood.
  8. Lifting whites in diagonal lines on the road read as tire tracks in misted asphalt.
  9. Again, limited color palette with sprinkles of intense color.
Joseph Zbukvic
  1. Confidently allowing such high contrast between light and dark, crisp lines and flowing blurred drips makes this feel hot and busy, mid-day.
  2. Interesting gesture to the figures without relying on overly precise drawing.
  3. Unbelievable confidence in the brushwork on the building gives a sense of motion and light glistening off of a highly reflective surface. Feels fresh and engaging.
Joseph Zbukvic
  1. Interesting shadows and a high horizon provide a sense of scale, the viewer is low in the image, making the distant buildings appear even taller.
  2. Perfectly placed lost and found edges allow distant buildings to stand out and read as distinct objects without coming forward.
  3. Loosely defined jumble of objects on the right reads like a mass of things without moving the focus.
  4. The lines in the road add perspective and depth, pointing to the focal point.
  5. Details are rendered quickly and sparsely where they are less important – makes the image feel less imposing.
Joseph Zbukvic
  1. Bright gems of color
  2. Headlights painted with opaque white and softened ever so slightly provide a feeling of mist.
  3. Figures are once again accented with opaque white highlights on shoulders. Precision isn’t important – mood rules the day.
  4. The tree branches painted with scraggly crooked organic strokes – easily read as trees, and add interest.
  5. Perspective on the tree branches adds to depth.
  6. Lit side of the building is rendered by only half painting it – the mind fills in the gaps.
  7. There is a genuine reliance on the viewer to read the composition and fill in details, which makes me feel it. I experience this instead of just looking at it.
Night Time by Alvaro Castagnet
  1. Bold Orange strike of color immediately placed me in a moment of time.
  2. Soft edges are bordered by crisp edges which creates a sense of mass.
  3. Loosely defining the cars in the distance tells the story of a mass of traffic all heading I. The same direction but not coreographed by standard traffic rules.
  4. Punches of color and deeeply contrasting darks give way to slightly lighter values in the distance. It’s not a huge difference, but it adds a lot of depth and mood.
Wed in NY by Alvaro Castagnet
  1. Fearless use of black silhouettes help define a lot of bustle without needing to define every arm and leg.
  2. That stripe of red – good LORD that’s gorgeous.
  3. Limited palette.
  4. Soft edges in the distance and much lighter values.
  5. The reflection on the rear windshield is perfect.
  6. Tail lights are more interesting than head lights.
Rainy Day NY by Alvaro Castagnet
  1. So much atmosphere! All created by dedicating a huge portion of the composition to a foggy massless haze.
  2. Sparse brushwork, the pole of each streetlight isn’t needed, so it isn’t painted. Instead, just the head of the light is rendered – we get the depth from perspective, without killing that foggy blur.
  3. Those punches of red – so much the mark of Castagnet, the image feels riddled with them, but there are only ten pin pricks red. They feel so central to the image because they are the only color.

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