Saturday, April 15, 2017

Car Noir

I'm standing in the bright spring sunshine, painting a moody night scene.

That's because I try to paint both what's in front of my eyes as well as what's behind them.

To me, there's something epic and mysterious about a white Lincoln Town car—especially one parked near a trash can and a basement entrance. I want to make it look like it's lit by a streetlight.

Here's the easel view as I'm starting out. Clockwise from upper left: Pocket travel brush set, watercolor journal with a casein "sunburst priming" and russet watercolor pencil layin, casein paint: white, yellow ochre, raw umber, black, and ultramarine blue.

Here's a 1-minute video that takes you behind the scenes: Link to video on Facebook.
Total painting time: 1 hour.
Info on Casein Painting in the Wild
Get the same paint kit I'm using: Jack Richeson Gurney's Casein 6 Pack with Brush Set
Music by Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech


Gary said...

This website, your "In the Wild" DVD's and the book, "Color and Light" are mind opening treats. I love a good idea.

19mrscott69 said...

I love how you can paint the most mundane looking scenes and create these great little paintings out of them. Never tire of looking at them.

I'm curious as to how you're able to take a scene and change the lighting to you will so-to-speak whereas many 'fine artists' seem to abhor that notion and can only paint what they see (complete with nose up in the air). Which to me is code for 'lacking the skill to manipulate paint and have complete control and understanding of paint and light.' I'm trying to get there but still stumble.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Gary,

Mr. Scott, Glad you enjoy it. I've been enjoying painting ordinary scenes that speak to me for reasons that I often don't understand at first. I was going to call this one "Getaway Car," because it seemed like the car had a story to tell, or it was a character in a movie. So I let that feeling guide the aesthetic decisions I made. I many if not most "fine artists" do some sort of aesthetic decision-making, even those who are trying to be objective and to paint precisely what they see.

It doesn't take much experience before you realize how many levels of simplification are required to translate "reality" into a painting. I put reality in quotes because we can't grasp it outside of our subjective perception. If you follow the blog for a while, you'll know that I come at reality or nature with many different ideas and approaches, depending on what I want to accomplish, and I certainly don't think there's any single answer that's right for everybody all the time.

Biff said...

You sure captured the mood and the accompanying music was perfect! What did you use for the glaze - watered down ultramarine blue casein?

James Gurney said...

Biff, yes, exactly that, watered ultramarine. You could use a little casein medium, but I didn't have any. The other blue pigments cobalt and cerulean seem a bit more opaque to me.