Behind the Curtain – how I work 2

Today I thought it would be interesting for you to see what goes into one of my pieces. I’m going to use the recent “Traffic in the Sun in Lima, Peru.”


I try each month to join in the Virtual Paintout. This month they are sketching in Lima, Peru. So, I wandered the streets, virtually and found 11 potential paintings. The traffic one was the first one I wanted to try – it was maybe the ninth one that I found, after about an hour of wandering around. To be honest, that is fairly quick for me for the Google Street View art that I do. There are months where I give up after two or three hours of trying to find something. I have since gone back and wandered around Lima some more, but haven’t found anything yet to catch my eye again (and I do have some more possibilities from the first visit.)


When I first saw the shot, an idea did pop straight into my head. A few days passed and I found it difficult to get back to that image. The photo attracted me because of the good value design pattern in it – so I decided to focus on that. I brainstormed out several ideas and thought long and hard about colors, edges, and emphasis – as you can see from my full sketchbook page below:


I marked out where I wanted the hard and soft edges:



And how I wanted the washes to gradate or mingle:



I was initially quite afraid to start this piece. I knew it was a solid idea and had a lot of potential, so I got a bit of stage fright – fearing that I couldn’t execute it as I saw it. Then I read this challenge from Alyson Stanfield. I told myself to focus on the values, remember that color is just an assistant and dove in.

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