Sunday, October 23, 2016

Grand Central Terminal


It's raining in New York City. My train won't leave Grand Central Terminal for another 45 minutes. 



There are no benches in the main area. I sit on the terrazzo floor at the edge of one of the hallways. The window of a tourist booth glows in the semi-darkness.

The man inside the booth leans through the ornate grillwork to arrange his brochures. Tourists pause to take photos on selfie sticks or to point their cameras up toward the ceiling.


This video takes you there. I squeeze various gouache tube colors onto the mixing surface of the watercolor set: perylene maroon, viridian, cad yellow, cad red, raw sienna, and burnt umber, plus white.

On the train ride home I add some finishing touches, such as white gouache dots for the white light coming from the window.

If you're getting this blog post by email, you'll need to follow this link to see the video.
---
More info:
Check out my Gouache Page on Pinterest
Follow me on Instagram
Watch my Gouache Playlist on YouTube
Previous post about Gouache Materials
Photos and history of Grand Central Terminal
Gouache in the Wild tutorial video

9 comments:

GJ said...

At the next vacancy for God, if elected, I will decree that Grand Central station be provided with 100 benches.

James Gurney said...

GJ -- I remember when it still had nice wooden benches in the side room. They've put a bakery / cafe in there now.

Tom Hart said...

Another wonderful slice of life painting, James. You did a great job capturing the atmosphere and the light. Did you add the photographer later, using the video as a reference? I thought the film suggested that, but I wasn't sure.

James Gurney said...

Tom, yes, exactly. I also shot a still of that moment, and got the figure from there. I added the figures in while riding back on the train. I nearly missed the train because I was so immersed in the painting.

Edison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edison said...

Dear Mr. James Gurney.

My name is Edison Coronado Vallejo, I’m Chilean, a Professional Graphic Design 4th year student in Inacap, located in Arica. I’m writing to you because I’m doing my degree Project, that is, my last work in the University to obtain my professional degree.
My project consists in designing a digital app for kids between 6 to 12 years old, to divulgate the knowledge about dinosaurs and another prehistoric species of South America.

I need to make some quetions I hope you can answer, and I would like to thank you for your time reading this post, I was going to write you via e-mail, but you say that you don’t give advice about arts in that media.

I didn’t choose working about dinosaurs without a reason; the truth is that dinosaurs have been in my big passions since I was 4 years old. My father bought me a kid’s book named “¿A dónde fueron los dinosaurios?” (where did the dinosaurs go?), and without knowing how to read, I fell in love, dinosaurs was the first word I learnt to read, or rather, to recognize what dinosaurs meant, since then, a fascination was unleashed in me, having high and lows, it never stopped
I’ve been following your work by internet, with a huge admiration about what you do and how you do it, and that’s the main reason why I’m trying to contact you. Without wanting to annoy you, here are my doubts.
1) How much time do you have been working in paleoillustration?
2) What did took you to dedicate to paleoillustration?
3) How did you formed as a paleoillustrator? Did you studied paleonthology and then arts?
4) What kind of references do you use to recreate the ambient and ecosystem in which lived the dinosaurs and other animals?
5) Have you done work focused in children?
6) About the kind of graphic code or style. Generally to divulgate or talk about a topic for children, the graphics are infantilized, softened and with dinosaurs this happens too, but, it is necessary?, how do kids accept more the dinosaurs, graphically speaking?, realistic like your work or more infantilized? Like movies as “The Good Dinosaur”, mainly when it’s about spreading scientific subjects
Again, thank you for your time and I’m going to say your work has been really inspirational and influential in my professional formation, thanks.
Atte. Edison Coronado Vallejo.

PD: My mail, Godzillakaiju@gmail.com or Ediseno.dgi@gmail.com

James Gurney said...

Hello, Edison,
Thanks for your compliments. Please forgive the short answers.
1) How much time do you have been working in paleoillustration?
For about the last 20 years.

2) What did took you to dedicate to paleoillustration?
I started painting dinosaurs for the fantasy Dinotopia, and that work led to paleo illustration

3) How did you formed as a paleoillustrator? Did you studied paleonthology and then arts?
I studies archaeology first, then art, then I learned more about dinosaurs.

4) What kind of references do you use to recreate the ambient and ecosystem in which lived the dinosaurs and other animals?
The environments begin with colors and textures from modern analogues, but with the leaves and structures based on fossils.

5) Have you done work focused in children?
Not really because Dinotopia was not intended as a children's book.

6) About the kind of graphic code or style. Generally to divulgate or talk about a topic for children, the graphics are infantilized, softened and with dinosaurs this happens too, but, it is necessary?, how do kids accept more the dinosaurs, graphically speaking?, realistic like your work or more infantilized? Like movies as “The Good Dinosaur”, mainly when it’s about spreading scientific subjects
When I was a child I did not like work that was infantilized. I liked the same work that I do now, namely realistic. I think children are extremely sophisticated visually, probably much more sophisticated than adults.

Thanks for the questions and good luck with your project.

Edison said...

no problem with short answers, these are accurate, thank you very much, Mr. Gurney

Gina Florio Sous said...

You're a brave man to be doing such tight, precise lettering on a moving train! I'm always scared of sudden stops, someone bumping my arm, etc. etc. Has that ever happened to you?