I am constructing
a "Coffee Shop" out of foam core board
since I couldn't find a building suitable for
am building it to a scale that works with the
props I bought for this painting. I also wanted
the people in my painting to be a certain size,
so I envisioned the size I needed for the people
riding in the coffee cups and made the building
to that scale.
you can see, I've purchased a commercial coffee
warmer, serving pot, a vintage "Maxwell
House" coffee can and some various other
items. I have drawn out the sidewalk, and the
street, complete with crosswalks, parking meters
and stop sign.
if the sun comes out (it is supposed to rain), I
will carry this setup outside and photograph it
with the best possible lighting. Then, I will
pose models to fit the areas of the painting
where they will be, photograph them and then draw
all of the elements into place onto the canvas.
Well, the sun
came out this morning and I succeeded in getting
some good photos of the 'setup'.
Here's a close
up of the neon sign. Notice the 'matching' menu.
color coordinate the napkin holder and the syrup
container in the painting. The lines drawn on the
paper are going to be the crosswalk.
coffee's ready. Now I need to stretch a canvas
for this painting. It will be 40" x 50"
and will be a very fine linen canvas, stretched
on heavy duty stretcher bars. Photos to come...
close-up of the canvas with some of the image
sketched onto it in pencil. I have cut out a
figure and placed it in the coffee cup to get an
idea what I want for the human element in the
drawing on the canvas is simple. The detail will
be put in with the oil paint.
Here is a view
of the entire canvas. I have begun to 'block in'
the image with a thin layer of paint.
I've blocked in
more of the building and the objects on the roof.
Here is a close
up. You can see the thin quality of the paint
application, as I am thinning the oil with
turpentine for these initial passages. I have
been waiting days for the sun to come out to
photograph my models for the painting. The foggy
mornings have been turning into overcast
afternoons. The sun is good from about 11 am to
1:30 pm for the proper angle of light. I have my
fingers crossed for today although it is very
foggy right now.
Here's Carol, my
least expensive model and wife (also the only one
available when the sun popped out for a few
minutes today) posing for one of the 'coffee cup
And here's yours
truly, sporting quite the ensemble (the Ugg boots
with a shirt, tie and jacket will surely be this
year's fashion craze), posing as the main
character in this oil painting.
The sun is out
today, and Laurie, one of our best friends and
neighbor, poses for the coffee cup on the far
left of the painting.
again. I needed an optional style of dress for
the rider in the coffee cup to the far right.
I've blocked in
the street, the cafe walls, and started the other
objects on the counter top.
again with a 'pill box' style hat (made from
paper). I will go with this style for the
I've blocked in
the coffee shop windows and entry and finished
the rest of the coffee pot on the left as well as
the 'Bunn' warmer it is sitting on. Remember,
this is just the 'blocking in' stage. As soon as
I complete this 'thin wash' passage on every part
of the canvas, I will then make the final
decisions on hue and value, and then apply a
'thick' layer of oil over the entire canvas. The
second layer will take nearly a month to apply.
Here is the
painting fully 'blocked in'. There will be some
significant color changes and also some big
swings in values (darkness/light) on the back
wall and street as I apply the final layer of
paint to all areas of the canvas.
I've begun to
apply the 'heavier' final layer of paint. I've
finished the street, crosswalks, sidewalks and
most of the front of the building.
close-up detail of the neon sign.
Here's a detail
of the store front. The awning and the windows
are finished, giving a good strong backdrop to
make the main figure 'pop' out.
A detail of the
finished coffee can.
Here is a detail
of a completely finished area.
The only areas
left to paint are the four people. If you look
closely, you can see that the surrounding areas
and the coffee cup are finished with a 'heavier'
layer of paint, where the man with the newspaper
is still in his initial turpentine and oil wash.
I will photograph this same detail when I am done
so you can compare the two.
newspaper is done!