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Old Posted Mar 8, 2011, 9:47 AM
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"WTC-1 'Freedom Tower' under construction" painting

Hi all. Been checking out skyscraperpage.com for years and finally decided I needed to get on board.

I paint cityscapes. Have completed bout 30 different cities so and just thought I'd share my current (and probably most important to date) project which is a 4 x 8 foot painting of WTC-1 'Freedom Tower' under construction. Their will be plenty of paintings and images of One World Trade Center when it's done; so I thought it was most important to capture it 'alive' and under construction.

I visited New York in October 2010 to see how the construction was coming along at the WTC site and search for a vantage point to use to create a large painting. FYI: I'm a big fan of George Bellows who created a really cool piece of Penn Station's excavation (below) in the early 1900s as most of my inspiration.



Looking for a good vantage point to capture this enormous undertaking and incredible logistical endeavor I came upon the Club Quarters, World Trade Center whose small restaurant about 25 floors up had the perfect view to capture the gravity of it all.
*If you can stay there or sneak in for a drink I highly suggest!

Here's the sketch I created while sitting at a table during sunset:


(I think One World Trade Center was up to about 45 floors when I was there).

I'll update this thread as I progress with the study and larger painting.
Regards and thanks for following.
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Last edited by UrbanImpressionist; Aug 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM. Reason: spacing
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Old Posted Mar 8, 2011, 10:21 AM
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My small 12" x 24" study in-work.

* Oddly the organic shaped sky is actually the hardest area to master.

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Last edited by UrbanImpressionist; Aug 27, 2011 at 4:49 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 8, 2011, 5:09 PM
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wow! Excellent work!
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Old Posted Mar 9, 2011, 6:18 AM
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Here's the actual 4 x 8 foot piece so far. Sketched and some areas started, however I won't return to this until the study is finished.


* As you can see not ideal studio setup but hoping to buy a place w/ a spare bedroom/studio later this year to allow for a proper setup. PMA!
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Old Posted Mar 9, 2011, 9:05 PM
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Amazing work!
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Old Posted Mar 15, 2011, 12:21 AM
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Bout 3/4 done with the study. Hopefully finish in the next day or two.

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Last edited by UrbanImpressionist; Aug 27, 2011 at 4:47 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 16, 2011, 8:37 PM
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You have an amazing talent.
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Old Posted Mar 17, 2011, 7:06 AM
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wow dude nice
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Old Posted Mar 17, 2011, 6:24 PM
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Ok my 12" x 24" study is done. Let me know what ya think. Feel free to provide any constructive criticism and I'll consider minor changes. Will help me make the larger one better. Especially in regards to:
1. The sky (Currently it's medium contrast. I was unsure about type of sky would be best. When I was there it was mostly clear sky (can equal boring composition) to a more cloudy stormy (can take away from the focus which is the construction below).

2. The lower corners (concern that the perspective it may be to 'fish-eye lens looking' at the bottom corners).

3. Anything else. If something else doesn't seem right.
Thanks and happy St. Patrick's Day!





"17 Cranes"

" 1-WTC 'Freedom Tower' under construction (STUDY)"






.
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Last edited by UrbanImpressionist; Aug 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 17, 2011, 7:49 PM
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the wire of the left crane on the tower on the riight side bugs me with the white cable blob. you could also add some more reds oranges to the sky? otherwise nice
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Old Posted Mar 17, 2011, 10:33 PM
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Very nice work overall.

For the current iteration of the work, I think the objects closer to the viewer tends to be too 'soft' relative to objects farther away. Personally, I would sharpen the closer objects and give them more of a defined outline and detail (but not too much - after all, it's an impressionist work).

The farther objects (buildings, mostly) are generally fine, but I would also add a bit more definition to the outline and details to some of the buildings. Which buildings, and which details? Personally, my thought is that you, the artist, would see some buildings more clearly and sharply than others from this perspective. The same goes for details (for example, some beautiful ornate details up-close will be something of a blur from farther away). Therefore, it's up to you to paint in what you see.

IMO, though impressionism isn't meant to represent every realistic detail, it is still highly representative of real-life images, and is meant to evoke a certain metaphysical emotion that you can actually feel, yet can't reproduce by drawing as realistically as possible. I'm sure you know far more about it than I do, but that's just my thoughts on it.

BTW, your other works look great as well.
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2011, 6:25 PM
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@1ajs
Took me a minute to figure out what ya meant but I got it now. Yeah it's odd but that was actually there. In addition to the sketch I made I took a lot of photos and for some reason that crane had a partial white metal cable cover (who knows why but they are were just a little different). Regardless I agree with ya, it's only going to distract and with artistic license ...gone

I will try for a smidgen of red and a lil more orange. I created a high color and contrast sky (photoshopped study) but thought that too much 'pop' would take away from the scene below and risk the work looking cheesy, kitschy or even worse like a gawd-awful Kinkade 'work.' (insert vomiting emoticon here). So have to be careful here.
@dchan
Think you bring up a good point that might have slipped my mind. FOCUS. Two ways to go. Make the foreground more in focus or less. Will play with that in photoshop.
You are correct about overall goal of impressionism. When I work en plein air in the environment, weather, (and having to plan restroom breaks ; ) it makes me work much faster and the result is a much looser, sketchy, and desired effect. Unfortunately when I'm indoors I tend to become too anal (towards realism). It's one of the hardest things for me to avoid doing.
@all ...thanks for the compliments
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Old Posted Mar 21, 2011, 3:18 PM
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Edit's on the main painting. Lowering/correcting the heights of Two & Three World Financial and Goldman Sachs HQ.

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Old Posted Mar 27, 2011, 9:38 PM
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Overall edits. Sunday afternoon, spending the rest of the day working on the underpainting.


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Last edited by UrbanImpressionist; Aug 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 27, 2011, 11:17 PM
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I'm generally not a fan of paintings done from photos (as the eye perceives things differently from a camera, and it's easy to tell from the final result), but I love your work-in-progress shots, especially the last one that delineates the strategies for fixing those very differences between a photo vs live painting. Can't wait to see how the final product turns out.
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Old Posted Mar 30, 2011, 8:42 PM
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Thanks Lecom. I agree. It's an unfortunate necessity to use photos for larger works and most people don't know it but even Monet used photos to assist with his Houses of Parliament series:

By now he had abandoned his earlier working practice of completing a painting on the spot in front of the motif. He carried on refining the images back in France, and sent to London for photographs to help in this. This caused some adverse reaction, but Monet's reply was that his means of creating a work was his own business, and it was up to the viewer to judge the final result.

Progress update: It's about halfway underpainted now ...a lotta work left still.





"Seventeen Cranes" - One WTC 'Freedom Tower' Under Construction
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Last edited by UrbanImpressionist; Aug 27, 2011 at 4:51 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 31, 2011, 5:37 AM
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Hey, welcome to the forum! I've run across your work on the web before and I love it-- not too many paintings out there of the Hugman Building in San Antonio, which I've also sketched! Not many of us luddite urban artists on this forum, what with all the 3D modelers around. I like the Hollywood painting on your site-- that one in particular has a great Wayne Thiebaud feel to it.

I also do a lot of painting (of people) and a lot of plein-air sketching of buildings, but very few paintings of buildings. Don't know why. You can see my work here and here. And my last big urban piece is here.

Digging the progress updates. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

Keep up the great work!
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Old Posted Mar 31, 2011, 6:53 AM
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Very nice. I used to "dabble" in a little painting myself, just for fun. Plan to take it up again.
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Old Posted Mar 31, 2011, 5:12 PM
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@NYguy Thanks and hell's yeah. Get back into it!

@Boquillas Danke and thank you for my 'learn something new everyday' ...had to look up luddite, lol. Yeah it's AMAZING what these 3D modelers can do nowadays and how much faster too. Some very cool work renderings and animations. Fortunately ours increases in value over the ages.

Those are some mad crosshatching skillz Paul (and paintings too). You know the San Antonio & Hollywood pieces haven't been sold yet Or I don't know what your portraits go for but if you're ever up in Dallas I'd be willing to discuss/negotiate a trade. Send me an email if you're interested.

Cheers!
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2011, 8:57 PM
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Lower corners underpainted. Discovered more cranes (mostly smaller portable ones) in the images I took. Desire is to include however many (between twenty and twenty-three) based on what version of "Twenty-?? Cranes" sounds best for the title?






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Last edited by UrbanImpressionist; Aug 27, 2011 at 4:52 PM.
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