“The Stairs at Pinehurst Avenue” OOC, 30”x36”

I think I’m feeling close to finished with this but am certainly open to critiques, and suggestions. 
Went a bit impressionistic with some of the details and took some artistic liberty to change a few things from the original photo source. 
I think the biggest question I have is about the lamp globes — I experimented with a bit of an aura around them as a clean line around them just didn’t look right, but not sure what I did looks right, either. 
Also, the original photo source had a bike on the lower right which I intended to keep but just couldn’t make it work, so I cut it. 
Thanks for looking! 



  • edited September 7
    Oh, wow! The amount of detail you've got there is awesome, @Bucky. I love what you've done with the light on the underside of the tree's foliage. The drawing of the stairway is really good, too, and I like the impressionistic treatment of the vegetation.

    The only suggestion that comes to mind is that you might consider using a little more contrast to enhance the night time feel. For example, the area beneath the fence with the wisteria on it could be darker like in the reference photo. The area around the base of the trees could be darkened as well. You could do this by glazing when it's dry so as not to disturb what you've painted already.

    But I think it works as it is. If I had not seen the reference photo I would not have thought about darkening things. You've done a fine job with this. Bucky. All those straight lines on the stairs and fence would have intimidated me but you've managed them very well. :)

    (Edited for spelling and syntax)
  • Neo-Impressionism.  Georges Seurat.
    You have done a great job with it.   I am glad you left the bike out, I felt it cluttered the more important aspects of the composition.
    I love what you have done with the stairs, the warmth of the directly lit areas and the shadows of the rest.
    I agree with Tassieguy that perhaps some darker darks in the shadowy foliage areas may make it pop a bit more, but I think it still works well the way it is.  You should feel pleased with it.

  • The stairs. And stair raile look fantastic.  I like the way you did the tree and bit of building on the left.  I get the sense of night time and shadow.   I don’t think the bicycle was absolutely necessary for this painting to work.
  • This is really beautiful! I love the effect that you have painted of the shadows on the stairs and ground. So much detail! 
  • I love this @Bucky, definitely in your style. 

    There is something eerie about it that I like.

    I agree it didnt need the bicycle 
  • Beautiful @Bucky, light on the stairs and the tree above is amazing, great job :)
  • Thanks so much, @tassieguy I'm glad you like it and that you think that the stairs work. I did struggle quite a bit with keeping each step horizontally straight enough which took a lot of cutting back in from each direction a few times. 
    I like your suggestion about darkening some of those areas and I will do that once it dries a little more. I agree it would add a more needed contrast and help more with the nighttime feel. Thanks again! :)
  • Thanks so much, @toujours glad you like it! Yeah, I originally thought the bike could work but actually seeing it on the canvas just didn't work. Thanks again!
  • Thanks so much @GTO Glad you like it, and really glad to hear the stairs, and railing too, are working. It's one of those things that I just wasn't able to be objective about after a certain point in the process. Agreed about the bicycle! 
  • Thanks so much, @Allie Really appreciate it! 
  • I agree that it didn't need the bicycle. And @MichaleD's comment about the eerie feeling rings true for me, too. The stairway invites me to ascend but I have a feeling that maybe I shouldn't. I like that. It holds the viewer's attention. There's something almost surreal about the picture. And it fits in with the style you seem to be developing, Bucky.  :)
  • Thanks so much, @MichaelD Glad you like it and glad you find an eeriness to it. I was kind of trying to go for an eerie warmth, if that makes sense :) 
  • @Buckey Yes that makes perfect sense, its a warmth, and not so eerie that it puts me off wanting to go up the steps to see what’s at the top.

  • There isn't much that I can add to all the comments.  It's a really interesting painting.  It evokes questions.  Like where do the stairs go, where is this place, have I been here before?  I like it.
  • There isn't much that I can add to all the comments.  It's a really interesting painting.  It evokes questions.  Like where do the stairs go, where is this place, have I been here before?  I like it.
    Another question is: .....could it be leading to the twilight zone.....?!!
  • Great mood. I never want to go up those stairs! :)
  • edited September 5
    Yes, great mood.  I do like it.  This may seem like a radical suggestion, but I think you should knock out the right light.  The essential problem with this composition--a personal view, could be wrong--is that the two equally strong globes of light are competing for our attention.  Then you could reduce the lit area to a penumbra cast across the stairs.  I know that entails a lot of work...
  • Thank you very much, @oilpainter1950. I'm glad the painting begs those questions. The stairs are a well know fixture here in the Hudson Heights neighborhood in Manhattan, but I can see how it could evoke a more mysterious feeling in others.  
  • @toujours, nope, they just lead to another street, not the twilight zone... or do they?!  
  • Thank you, @Richard_P I've been up and down those stairs many a time. Rest assured, they are harmless :) 
  • Very beautiful work.  I love the lighting.  The stairs are perfect and the shadows of how the light falls onto them is super good.  I like how the tree shadow lands on the foliage on the left.  I agree with preveious comments of adding some darks into the foliage and again could be left as is.  The bicycle is not an essential element for this piece.  Great job!
  • Thank you, @Gary_Heath. That's a very interesting idea and suggestion. Although I did take artistic license to make a couple minor changes, I was going for a fairly accurate representation of the stairs and surrounding area as it is such a well known scene to anyone who lives in this area. So, I probably wouldn't go as far as removing one of the lights, but I do get what you're saying about the two lamps competing with each other. And, removing one of them could provide interesting options for different light and shadow play. Thanks for the idea :) 
  • Thank you very much, @A_Time_To_Paint Yeah, I think I will heed the advice of you and others and play with a bit more darks in some of those shadow areas. And agreed about the bicycle :) 
  • Thank you so much, @ArtGal. Really appreciate it! 
  • lovely painting! the loneliness of the place gives me the feelings like in the Edward Hopper paintings.
  • Thank you so much, @anwesha There were some people on the stairs in the original photo but I preferred to keep the stairs "lonely."  Glad you like it :)
  • Very impressive @Bucky. Even though your focal point is near the center the painting works! Everything you paint is interesting! Great job!
  • This would have intimidated me to where I don't think I would have painted it or could have painted it. You did an excellent job though. 
  • Thank you so much, @HondoRW and @John1966 Really appreciate it! :) 
Sign In or Register to comment.