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WIP - Sunday in the Park in Carlsbad

Top image is my painting.  Lower image is my inspiration.

We all know that the road to finding ourselves as artists is a long and winding one.  Recently, I've come to see myself as an expressionist and definitely a colorist.  That may change with my next painting, but for now it's the challenge that keeps me coming back to my studio every chance I get.  

This morning was the first time I felt the painting was evolving (for better or worse) as I had intended.  I've added multiple layers of blue glaze to the people, and an orange/yellow glaze to the areas not in shadow.  (The orange color doesn't show on camera very well.)

The clouds still need work.

I think I'm going to do one more layer of blue glaze.  I love that with each layer the contrast between light and shadow becomes greater.

The final touch will be some golden highlights on hair and arms.

Not sure how I feel about this, but I'm enjoying the challenge.



  • Oh I do like this!  I prefer yours to the original "inspiration", which seems a bit stiff and computery.  Yours has more life.  Well done!
  • Thank you, @MoeyMichele.  I'm still struggling to create a unified image.  This photo is more saturated than my painting.  Such a challenge!
  • Is the bicycle going to be included?  I ask because you rendered only part of it.

    I think the subject's left hand needs to go behind her back at her waist a little, which will make the whole arm position make sense.

    I like your color palette.
  • Hi @PaulB.  No bike.  Yep, you're right about the hand.  I totally missed that.  As for the color palette, I've struggled with deciding to warm up the water color, or not. In the end I decided I like the contrast between water color and sky.
  • @karynr I think what paul is seeing is the skateboard wheels that look like they are part of a bicycle in the original.   The skateboard is confusing to me - didn't know what it was but I guess, that could be an artistic option.  I like that you are exploring styles - trust your heart and what you are drawn to.  
  • @Julianna.  Hi lady!  Yes, experimenting with styles is fun.  I've always loved bold colors, but then my house is painted gray, so go figure.  

    I really want to make this work and I still have several hours worth of work to do.  Next up, softening edges.

    I agree, the longboard is hard to make out.  You have to know what it is to see it.  Maybe I should title it, 'Girl with Longboard and Husky'. Haha!  

  • Yeah, sorry, I was wrong - I thought the wheel was something else.  Thanks @Julianna.
  • Slowly achieving the sense of time and place for which I've been striving.  I've added an orange glaze to the water and a few more layers of blue glaze to those areas in shadow.  Still more to do, but I feel like the sense of light and shadow works. 

    I need to work on the heads of the main two characters.  I may also change her tank top from black to navy blue and then use black to define form.  I also want to plant their feet more firmly in the ground, they seem to be floating a bit.  Finally, I'll add the dog's leash, her fingers behind her back, and highlights where needed.

    I put this painting side by side with the lady on the pier, with which I was very pleased.  I wanted to achieve the same style, but I feel I've come up short here.  Perhaps it's simplicity versus busy-ness. Not sure, please feel free to comment. 
  • Finished - time to move on.
  • The painting works, @karynr . Your style is very recognizable. Puts me in mind of a cross between Seurat and Hockney - the stillness of Seurat's peopled landscape compositions  and Hockney's simplified forms and bright colours. :)
  • @karynr   I like your style and I just have not been fond of this latest composition so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.  if I was behind them, I would move because I don't like people's behinds in my face - it is your artistic license and composition - I am confused by the lady on the far right - she looks like her legs are missing - there looks like her lower buttocks area and then the sky until something that looks like it may be shoes?  She has no thighs, knees or calves?  I very much look forward to your next painting!  
  • I love your work. The color and shapes are so clear and evocative. I feel the left arm is anatomically awkward, but almost there. The forearm seems too narrow and the elbow shadow looks not quite right. Her right arm an their legs are perfect. Beautiful painting!
  • Hi @karynr, I agree with you that this painting doesn’t work as well as your previous one.

    There is a problem with atmospheric perspective in that there is minimal sense of distance between the main figures and the sunset. Sunsets are hard in that the colours can be so fantastic as to seem unreal. That warm, bright yellow just jumps forward.

    The almost complete lack of features or modelling on the face of the other figures makes the painting look unfinished.

    The ambiguity regarding the seemingly legless woman who is either-perched on the bench? Hidden behind the bench?

    I hope this is helpful
  • Thanks, all.  I'll consider this a grand experiment.  I've learned much and will keep moving forward!  I always appreciate the comments, so keep 'em coming!
  • I'm worried about white shirt guy and his right foot.
  • I really like both of these. I think one thing that enchants me on the first painting is the intensity of the colours. I would enjoy the second one more if the colours were more saturated. I'm also worried about the white shirt guy's foot. ;9D
  • Thanks, Paul and Barbara.  I'll fix his foot!
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