American Street Scene

For Advanced Higher Art this year, part of the course was to research an artist that worked with similiar themes to yourself. Noone was really enthusiastic about this aspect of the course, but I actually found it quite worthwhile. Edward Hopper was my chosen artist. Hopper focuses a lot on windows in his work, using them to influence the mood of the piece. After studying a variety of his paintings, I dug out some pictures I’d taken in America and tried to mimic his realistic style.

This was a very early study, probably started around September last year, it wasn’t finished for a while after that. There are still parts of the stairs leading up to the door that are incomplete. This study is very controlled and realistic, the red bricks in particular are very detailed. However, I soon developed the street scene into a looser style, using the paint more freely and being less precise with the finer details.

For this quick paint study I applied a base coat of dark green acrylic to work on top of. I find this is the best way to work, a white background isnt good to work on top of, so i always apply a base of colour. I had more fun doing the quick, loose painting than the realistic detailed painting, it’s more suited to my style and works out being more effective.

The final part of the project was a larger painting, with loose brushstrokes and vivid colours. The colour palette of this was changed so often. It was very warm to start with, yellows and oranges. But it just didn’t feel right. After spending a period of art basically moaning at the painting for ‘not working with me’ it just kind of fell into place. Purple was the answer. I’d been trying to stay away from colder colours after realising that almost half of my porfolio was done in blues. But the colder purples and blues work well here framing the red of the middle door and contrasting with the surrounding  green.

I’m happy with this piece and the final colour scheme. There are small parts in particular that I like, such as the textured pavement or the main window at the front, with the drips of watery paint running down it. I enjoyed working on this piece and I think it was a significant part of my folio.


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