Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to put figures into an urban landscape painting

Behind the New York Public Library  12x12", Oil

New York Public Library  12x12", Oil
Lawn Loungers  8x8", Oil

The New York Public Library Lion ("Patience")   12x12," Oil

Blue Shirts  12x12," Acrylic

That is perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of urban landscapes. Especially when working "en plein air" in NYC. FYI, no one poses for you unless they are asleep. And if you can spot someone who hasn't had 5 cups of coffee and actually stays put for more than a minute or two, consider yourself lucky. Gotta capture that pose quickly!  I learned this last year when I was hired to stand outside on the busiest intersection of Manhattan, 42nd street and Fifth Avenue/Bryant Park, and paint the city sights - en plein air. No safety nets - such as photos, pre-location scouting, protection from the elements (or the crowds). Just stand there and paint whatever. Often I did 2 paintings per day, in oil or acrylic.  It was a wonderful opportunity to take those moving, grooving, hustling New Yorkers and quickly incorporate them into a painting. The trick is getting the gesture and "shorthand" right.

Luckily, in my upcoming "Paint NYC" workshop, we will be painting "en plein studio", in the comfort of the National Academy of Design which is directly across the Street from the Guggenheim Museum and Central Park. The participants will work from photos - theirs or mine - so no need for rushing to capture those moving figures. We will work on gesture, composition and design, simplifying buildings, perspective and... cars! Yes, what is a city without cars? (Hint: if you don't get the cars right, they look like something out of a cartoon book.) The shorthand I will teach about painting figures and cars will help you add them to your paintings with ease.

So, if you want to learn how to capture the energy of New York City, register today for this workshop from May 19-23, 2014. But don't wait - registration ends very soon! If you are considering it, better call today and let your intentions be known. Hope you can join us for this unique city experience.

Click here for more info at Sedona Art Center or call 928.282.3809.

PS - btw, when I say no protection from the crowds, I'm not joking...


Tom Fox said...

Beautiful work yo have here Patti! I particularly like the one outside the public library with the lion in the sun. Super high contrast and I love the brushwork. If you don't mind I'd like to link that from my own blog!

Really enjoying seeing these updates, so please don't ever stop!

Patti Mollica said...

Thanks Tom - I won't!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.