Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Grinnell Light


I painted a mysterious light on Grinnell Street yesterday.

I drew in the lines on a page primed with blue and orange.

With a big flat brush and gouache I started establishing the houses.

I painted out the truck and put in the trees.

I added the street pole and the porch.

Detail of the effect area.

The light and color were all in my head. 
It was really a sunny afternoon in Rhinecliff, New York.

Here's what I was looking at. I was using the forms I saw to paint an imaginary light.

Scroll back up to see the finish, or you can click through the sequence on my Facebook page.
Art Supplies
Winsor and Newton gouache
Moleskine watercolor notebook
Caran D'Ache watercolor pencils
Schmincke Watercolor Pocket Set,


16 comments:

Daroo said...

Brings to mind "What's he building in there?" from Tom Waits' "Mule Variations"

What a great idea -- for when you have time to paint but the light is just flat and boring. Great execution.

Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

This little painting is nothing short of a miracle. Don't mean to be a sycophant, but James, man, you sure can paint.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Daroo. I love Tom Waits!
Ernest, you can probably see the influence of Nathan Fowkes, Dominique Louis, Eric Tiemens, Craig Elliott and Dice Tsutsumi, all great concept art colorists.

Tom Hart said...

This post has to go into the Gurney Journey Hall of Fame. It was great from the first image, but to get to the bottom and see that the lighting was all in your head was an amazing surprise. The painting alone is a wonder, but to have imagined it! Manifique!!

Seth Rosamilia said...

The contrast of the warm light on the cool surrounding colors makes for a very nice effect, and the process used to paint it is intriguing and inspiring as well. Great painting!

CC said...

I love how you pushed the colors in this piece! Just beautiful! ♥

lee kline said...

Beautiful step-by-step. I will keep this as a tutorial.

Alex Willoughby said...

This reminds me of George Ault's series of eerie light paintings, especially "Bright Light at Russell's Corners". The white house in the painting is about a 30 minute drive from you, at the corner of Rock City Rd and Lower Byrdcliffe Rd in Woodstock.

runninghead said...

Love it! Would've been good as a kind of April Fools. Nice demo of virtuosity, shows how if you know what you're doing you can fabricate even something as nebulous and delicate as lighting. Maybe in future "Grinnell Light" will become the accepted term for all false-colour plein air work ;)

leekilonson post seems to be SPAM- remove?

Maike Bohlen said...

Nice! What i like most about your posts is that they are impressive but not overwhelming.You make them look as if anyone could master this task also, if he/she is determined enough. Thanks.

Just one question:
I am planning to buy a tripod like yours. Is there any post that describes how build the platform above? (Please excuse my english, sometimes there is a certain lack of vocabulary)

James Gurney said...

Maike, yes, I did a post showing some solutions for simple pochades that fit on a camera tripod: http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2013/09/your-diy-watercolor-pochades.html
Good luck, JG

Nathonicus said...

That's inspirational!

Maike Bohlen said...

Thank you so much for finding the time to answer my question!

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Connie Nobbe said...

What a fun surprise to learn that you had painted it during boring afternoon light! I had never thought of that. Now my wheels are turning!

Len De Angelis said...

The affects of this sharing reverberate. This appeared with anecdotal appendage at the PDofA (Reston,VA) and we "ohhhhhhed" and "ahhhhhhed."
A gallery in Newport had a "fake and forgeries" show once a year where painters copy maters as i had done with an earlier painting of yours, a black man's portrait. You used a dark background and I changed it to white for more contrast and controversy.
Such good work.
Copying proves one can apply techniques but one's individual style seeps through--unless the motivation is for the wrong reasons.
Peace,
Len