Thursday, February 28, 2008

Train Tunnel Drawing

Train Tunnel at Carl and Cole, San Francisco
12 x 16 inches
vine charcoal on paper

Inspired by my plein air painting session with Mary yesterday, I decided to step out my front door today and try an outdoor sketch. This is a view of the entrance to a train tunnel in my neighborhood. I always admire the afternoon light bouncing in it and have been wanting to paint it for a while. I'm hoping to do a color painting, too. The tunnel interior is painted butter yellow and I just love how the curved shadow creeps around the inner surface. It gets a gorgeous reflected glow within the shadow.

I think one of my biggest problems with painting outdoors is that I am very shy to draw or paint where people can watch me. I hate anyone seeing my work before I feel it is in a good state. I've decided I have to get over this. So even though I live in a very pedestrian-heavy neighborhood I decided to brave the stares and set up right on the sidewalk. It was easier than I thought it would be.

I got a really nice compliment while working: A woman stopped and chatted with me, she said she was an artist too. She said she noticed that even though from far back the drawing is very hazy, that in fact close up there is a lot of structure. Structure!! I've been working explicitly on structure for months so I was thrilled she chose this word. I thanked her profusely but I don't think she realized how much it meant to me.