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The second in a series of gallery paintings I worked on this winter is a 30 x 24″ oil called Spring Morning. In many ways it was the most complicated of the three.  Dealing with architectural elements is always a challenge for me, and this scene was no exception. But the lobby of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is magnificent, and worth the effort.

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I try to work out problem areas early, before I put paint to canvas.  Sometimes the drawing is one of the most difficult phases, especially in these with multiple perspectives and an overhead viewpoint.

Image 2Notice in the upper left hand corner where I realized in time that my floor tiles were out of line.

Image 6I didn’t notice an issue with the center podium under the flowers until later in the process.

ImageThe proportion and scale were slightly off.  Still easily fixable at this point.  One of the hardest lessons to learn is to look carefully, then look again.  A lot of time I find a tea break and coming back with a fresh eye helps to see issues.

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Often I photograph the work in progress (therefore all these lovely progression photos).  When I put the image up on my computer screen I often spot something that I might not notice staring constantly at the actual canvas.  Rather like a fresh pair of eyes on a new point of view.

Image 3Sometimes I look at a black & white version of it on the computer to check my contrast and shadows.  It all helps.

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And finally comes my favorite part…adding detail and breathing life in to the work.  I work on mood and shadows, depth and atmosphere.  On this piece I actually ran a glaze with a golden hue over the canvas to soften and unite the many parts near the final phase. Each day it progressed in the rich layers of transparent color and small detailed highlights.

Until, as in this case, the soft light streaming through the doors adds a glow to the entire scene.

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All photos and images by me.