Monday, May 23, 2022



12x16 oil on canvas
Available here

     I painted this during an invitational plein air event in Huntington Beach. I’m often asked how I could do this on location, since everyone was moving constantly. Here’s the backstory if you’re interested.

     I began with a very sketchy outline of the big masses of the pier, and used simple sketchy marks to indicate where I wanted to place figures.

     Then I focused on creating the actual figures because they would be the hardest part. For this I used a technique I call “mental snapshots.”

     I would glimpse a walking figure and instantly close my eyes to memorize that image; really lock it in. Then without looking at the figure again I blocked in a general suggestion of the gesture. Really loosely, just a few smears of ochre wash. This can take as little as 20 to 30 seconds. I repeated that for the next figure, and so on, until I had the entire group of people suggested.

     Once I had that established I began refining all the figures together. I continued to watch pedestrians and I added clothing to my sketchy figures based on what I was now observing. There were a few rub-outs along the way, but when I had them done I took my time with the background buildings, posts and other details. It was very challenging, but lots of fun.


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