The Strand

The Strand, charcoal and greyscale pastel on grey Canson paper, 11x14 in.

This is a drawing I did of the famous Strand bookstore in NYC, a great place where you can buy new and used books, out of print editions, etc. The place is currently covered in scaffolding, so it made for a perfect subject given my current fascination with all things structurally skeletal.

I did this as a drawing for several reasons. First, I love to draw, and this type of complex subject is always wonderful for breaking up space and pushing the limits with forms and values. I also wanted to see if this could hold up monochromatically, as I plan to paint it in color, but it will have a decidely “grey” feeling to it, with splashes of brighter colors on the signage and some of the figures.  My paint greys will of course be made up from the primary colors and white, as I don’t use tube greys or black on my palette. Mixing up greys is always more interesting that using them out of the tube, the subtle variations in color you can get are endless, and with layering and glazing, you get a luminoscity that just isn’t there with tube colors.

I plan to do this large, in oil, on canvas. The drawing above I plan to enter in the Salmagundi Club’s Black and White Exhibit this coming January.


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