Windy downtown

city hall, 2010 by frank eberThat’s what I remember most about this location sketch: the wind almost blew my easel away. Probably one of the main reasons some of my lines look a bit shaky and squiggly….hahaha.

It’s really a challenge going downtown to paint. First of all, you don’t exactly know where you’re going to find a good view. Sometimes you see something driving around, but there is just no way to stop. Then there is the traffic and, of course, where do you park? There are parking lots left and right but it’s usually at least $8 or more for parking. Pretty steep for a starving artist. I ended up parking in a lot but I found one that only charges $4 after 4pm. Good deal.

This view I found at a place called Weller Court. I was immediately attracted by the old City Hall and the way the light bounces around on it in the late afternoon. I might do a bigger studio version of this. I just love the light within the shadow side of the building, something that does not come out right in a photograph. In fact, City Hall always looks completely white in photographs and in reality it is an off-white, almost beige, giving it much warmer hues.

I painted this in a pedestrian zone, so I got lots of people looking and some commenting. I am trying to get used to this some more. I wanted to put a person in it so I took pics of various people walking by. It’s a bit of  “cheating” I do to have a reference on the little camera screen. People walk by so quickly, it’s hard to do a sketch in just a few seconds.

I will definitely go back to do more. I love all the old buildings and dramatic light situations that can be found downtown. I hope you like it!

8 thoughts on “Windy downtown

  1. lesliepaints

    I feel like I’m there, Frank. I think you are right about the light in this one having allure. It puts the viewer there with you. Hey. You may think it’s cheating but I think not. There can be a slight nuance to a person that you cannot recall, even when the painting only calls for a little person. Great self challenge and wonderful cityscape.

    1. frankeber Post author

      Great comment, Leslie! I know there are people who just do it from memory, I still have to tackle that. Until then I just snap a few pics for reference. You are right, it is a great self challenge. Everything you have ever learned kind just goes out the window when you paint outside! I get this intense focus, just to get anything good down. I can only keep it up for an hour and a half and them I am just exhausted. Very different from studio work. Thanks for commenting, I appreciate your opinion!

  2. Carol King

    What a beautiful cityscape! I love the buildings and the person walking down the street. Great scene. And bravo to you for painting in a pedestrian zone.

    1. frankeber Post author

      Carol, thanks for that – I know it is a bit scary to paint with people all around you. I figure if I can do that, I can do anything! Well, hopefully…

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