Tag Archives: skateboard

Five against One on Beryl Ave., Redondo Beach

five_against_one_on Beryl Ave, by frankeber 2012

Five against One on Beryl Avenue, Redondo Beach (2012)
See more paintings in my portfolio.

How interesting would it be if traffic could be brought to a standstill by those guys? In a city like this one, where the automobile is the undisputed king? Wishful thinking… *Nothing* will bring traffic to a standstill in LA, except of course, traffic itself…the ultimate irony? There could be another blog post right there.

Today, I would like to talk a bit about composition. At first glance, this painting is a simple H composition: something on the left, something on the right, and the shape of the distance connecting both. Upon closer inspection, you will notice that I have actually tried to make this a Z composition. The shadow in the foreground is leading the viewer into the picture, going diagonally to what I think is the focal point, namely the guy in the plaid, red shirt and the car under the tree.

From there, the shadow points left via the squatting skaters and onto the left side of the picture, finishing at the top of the building. The light post and the wires are taking you back to the right side and out on the top. Better yet, the eyes will hopefully remain in the picture frame and are being taken back down to the focal point by the transformer pole. Basically, I was trying to create a bit of a path through this piece.

You can see I have thought quite a bit about this. Does it work? I don’t know, it’s for you to judge, but I think the key is to think about what’s going on in our painting *before* we start painting! Once we pick up a paintbrush, it is too late to figure all this out.

fiveagainstone_on Beryl Ave_detail, by frankeber 2012

This is a street here in Redondo Beach, leading down to the ocean. About six brushstrokes signify that  there is an ocean. I also simplified the left side with the warmer buildings and all the cars except the right one. What is suppose to be the more distant part of the city is really just an abstract. The less you do, the better it is! Watercolor works that way!

Five and nine

Five and nine, 2012 by frankeber

I know this is a strange title, but it’s easy to figure out why I named it that. I am exploring my new idea with urban skate boarders some more. I have had some great comments for some of these works and even sold one in a gallery setting at this year’s Higbee 6 x 6 exhibition.

I also like the long format, I think it’s always good to try and do new things. The format isn’t really all that new, but I think it works really well with an off-beat subject matter like this. I also like that I have found a way to combine my beloved taxis and the skaters!  They do live in the same environment after all, and I am wondering now why didn’t think about this before!

As for the painting process, I started with a grey wash in  the sky, just to take away the white of the paper. After that I painted an “underwash” for all the buildings and into the foreground fairly strong. The goal is to finish the foreground in the first wash, which usually never works out. It is easy to be too light, since it is one of the first things we’re painting and we only have the white of the paper to compare it to…

Colors I used were cobalt blue, cobalt violet, yellow ochre, ultraviolet and cobalt turquoise and, believe it or not, some cad yellow and cad red. I made sure I used the most toxic colors available… Ok, bad joke…. On a serious note, I made sure most of the pigment is mixing itself on the paper and took great care not to create too many hard edges. That’s one of the more challenging  things to do as a watercolorist, in my humble opinion.

Thank you for looking, I sure will do more of these…here’s a detail shot, the guy in the middle is connecting both sides of the street with his pose, I think that works quite well!

fiveandnine_detail, by frankeber