Walnut Park, Portland, Oregon Commission

A commission to create a painting from photographs
for an intern leaving for the next leg of her journey landed on my desk.
I typically work on several images at the same time;
it relieves the pressure in case one goes awry when a deadline is involved.
The two photographs that appealed to me most are shown below.

*the image above is for the studio voyeurs, of which I am one*

I never intended for them to be replications but interpretations of the images.
The joy of owning a painting instead of snapshot is the artist’s interpretation.

Above, the first image, with the addition of a mid-century modern car, sketch to final.
Below, steps from inked sketch to finished watercolor on the second image.

My sketch is not used quite like a coloring book; I don’t intend to stay in the lines!

I began with masking fluid.  I could be very very careful,
but why, when I can mask off the areas and splash around freely?
Tiny flowers, window frames, car lights (in the first image above.)

Next come the underlayers:
Grisaille, this time in the form of grey ink for shadows, window panes, rooftops;
Brunaille, the underlayer of brown in inks and paint for sidewalk and rooftop; and
Verdaille, in this case used as underlayers of green, both the bright shown and a grey-green not shown, both of which allows a tie in of the other greens as they are applied.

Beginning colors that will not interfere with the overwhelming greens in the image
were next: blues and purples and browns.  So many of the houses are colorful;
I decided to paint these homes in typical colors of the neighborhood.

Once I got started I forget to stop for process shots!
I worked greens for several layers, and overworked one area which you will see I later lifted and softened by balancing darks.  Reds and additional browns were added last.

Above are details of the succession of masked areas
before removal, after removal, and with the additional painted colors onto the
masked areas.  Not all were painted; white left adds to the painting!

Here the final painting, with the softened and balanced overworked tree,
and the final pops of color, including the family in the image.

Two differences in an urban sketch:
not so much layered paint as one broad stroke of paint color in an area; and
the time is not taken to articulate the leaves… they become a color, a suggestion,
whereas in a painting I am likely to detail leaves in my own suggestive manner.

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©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in architecture, art, commission, making a living, painting, pen & ink, process, virtual sketching, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Walnut Park, Portland, Oregon Commission

  1. Both paintings are fantastic. Thank you for sharing your process. It was interesting to see them develop.


  2. bikerchick57 says:

    Great stuff, Katie. I love both of your renditions and whoever commissioned you should be overjoyed with the results.


  3. Pingback: Sketches toward the commission | D.Katie Powell Art

  4. spectacular to watch your process of doing a commission. Whomever the customer is, they have good taste! Thanks for the good wishes and prayers on my health. I must admit it helps to hear others care and having stuff to continue to do with art to keep my mind off it all. I do love your style! Happy PPF!


  5. mjmarmo says:

    Wow – simply stunning! This is just wonderful!


  6. Oh this is so lovely! And what a great idea for a farewell gift too! Happy PPF (I’m catching up a bit late).


  7. anne54 says:

    It was fascinating to watch your process, Katie. Thanks for sharing!


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