Thursday, 27 August 2015

Dogs of New York

oil painting of dogs in Central Park, New York
This fabulous scene is of dogs resting in Central Park, New York and is based on a photograph by Christine Coffey from Paint My Photo. I painted it because I had hoped to go to New York this year - it is on my Bucket List - but that is not practical at present so this was the next best thing. Especially as you can "stroll" round Central Park at your leisure courtesy of Google Earth soaking up the atmosphere before picking up a brush. Such fun.

This was a challenge to paint due to the compositional complexity and the large area of grey stone. I simplified the scene - removing a number of dogs and a complex web of leads, for example - and spent a long time considering how to tackle the subject. 

In the end I opted for a limited "Zorn palette" - I wrote about this at length on my other blog here - and so painted the entire thing using only cad yellow light, transparent oxide red, black and white. It is amazing how much variety you can get into your greys from so few colours and it also results in a nice, harmonious feel.

Here is the swatch chart I originally painted using these colours:
On the other blog there is a second chart using colours closer to those originally chosen by Anders Zorn. But I find the resulting mixes a touch on the cool side for my taste. I like warm colours for warm dogs.