Train Yard – revisited larger

NJ Transit Train Yard, Hoboken - pastel, about 11x14" on Wallis paper

NJ Transit Train Yard, Hoboken - pastel, about 11x14" on Wallis paper

This is the same view as I sketched in my demo the other night. I wanted to give it a try larger, to see if I could clean it up just a bit yet still retain the rawness of it. I’m pleased with it in this size, perhaps I will try it in oil next.  Here is the original sketch from my demo:

pastel demo - about 5x8"

pastel demo - about 5x8"

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4 Responses to Train Yard – revisited larger

  1. Anita says:

    Anne – are you working from life in your original sketch? You’ve certainly maintained the raw industrial look of the piece though it definitely looks more polished. The original sketch somehow conveys speed. How long to do you take to produce a sketch? Does it take much longer to do the larger version?

  2. kullaf says:

    Anita, what an intersting observation! Both sketches are based on a photo I took last week. The first sketch I did in about 20 minutes as a demo in my class, the second I would guess I spent about an hour or 90 minutes max. Perhaps the reason my oils tend to “slow down” is because I actually produce them much more slowly than pastels.

    I know for sure that size has a lot to do with this as well. For example, if I paint an 11×14 in oil, once I get to the third layer of paint and begin getting more opaque, I do a lot of alla prima work and can easily finish the layer in one session. On anything larger, I have a tendency to do more work with glazes and I know that tends to give a more atmospheric, slow feeling. The painting of the scaffold in SoHo is probably the best example I have on hand to show where I’m headed (or where I’d like to be) with the majofity of my work.

  3. Anita says:

    Thank you Anne, for your answers. Do you work only from photos? Do you go on photo shoots particularly looking for future paintings?

  4. kullaf says:

    Anita, I am in NYC about 2 times a month to drop off paintings for shows, for meetings, etc. I live about an hour outside the city, and most of the time I take the train in, so it really is not practical for me to attempt to paint plein air in the middle of Manhattan. However, I do sketch a bit in charcoal if I have the opportunity, just really small thumbnail type stuff.

    As for my photos, whenever I am in the city for other business, I take my camera with me and shoot hundreds of random shots to and from wherever I am going. On a typical day, I may take 200 photos and if I’m lucky find 2 or 3 that I may use later for paintings. I sometimes crop them on the computer to try different compositions. The photos are not always the best quality, but that doesn’t matter as they are truly just departure points for the actual painting.

    When I first began painting seriously (about 12 years ago), I only painted from life, and I think it is the best way to really learn a lot about value, form, composition and color. However, that can be limiting in terms of what you have available to paint–beyond still life and local landscapes, I would be precluded from painting many of the things that it just is not logistically possible for me to paint on location. I believe that once someone has some experience under their belt working from life, there is nothing wrong with using a photograph as a reference, as long as the artist does not become a slave to that photo or worse, simply a copy machine.

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