Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Starting with a warm ground and pencil sketch on panel.

Blocking in shadows. Thinking about temperatures.

Addition of a sky color. Defining shapes, details, major components.

Continuing to define details, elements.
Done? (I hope so.)

Painting Bradford Street
A few people have asked me to show a step-by-step timeline of a painting, so here's my documentation of my latest. This piece is 2' by 2', and so if I haven't posted anything new in a while, it's because I've been working on this one. With my larger pieces, I'll usually paint a small version first, either in the studio or out in the field. (Somewhere in my archives I've got a small version of this.) Whether it's a small piece or large, I ALWAYS start with a pencil drawing just to get everything in the ballpark. I love drawing and often find myself getting way too detailed in my original drawing--more detailed than I could ever put down with paint. Mostly the drawing helps with blocking out shapes, spaces, and composition. Once I get the paint out on the palette, I don't always begin by filling out the denser tones, like shadows, but in a painting with a lot of information it's a game of just trying to not get lost as you go along. Here you can see I defined all the shadow shapes and temperatures first. As a matter of habit, I try to work from "back to front", but I'm letting go of that more and more as I continue to paint. I think it's important to not get locked into a singular approach. I do look forward to getting to the noodling part of a painting; adding details, tweaking small aspects, finishing it off. But it's a balancing act too, trying to keep from getting too "tight." The photo of the final piece seems a little to have a bit of a blue tint to it. It's warmer in actuality. Still the question lingers, "Is it done?"


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6 Comments:

Blogger Ed Terpening said...

looks done to me, Cooper. Well done. I especially like how well the foreground street shadows and light read, as well as the sun-lit corner of the foreground building.

The painting is a bit tight for my tastes, but as you are focusing on architecture, I realize it's a challenge to get a loose representation. I think Danny Macaw and Ken Auster are contemporary painters that do this exceptionally well.

6/05/2007  
Blogger Mike said...

Hey Cooper! I love your work! As i look through most of it here, I see similarities to Edward Hopper. Nice!!

Mike

6/08/2007  
Anonymous Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

6/09/2007  
Blogger Cooper Dragonette said...

Thanks Ed. I appreciate your comments about tight vs. loose and loved the two painters you mentioned. Inspirational!

6/13/2007  
Blogger Cooper Dragonette said...

Thanks Mike. I seem to be getting the Edward Hopper comment a lot--I'd better get down to Boston to see his show.

6/13/2007  
Blogger Cooper Dragonette said...

Rodrigo, Gracias por tomar la época de escribir. Estoy asumiendo que usted escribió espaldarazos que me felicitaba en mi trabajo, pero quizás no. Cualquier manera que estoy alegre usted escribió. ¿Quizás después tiempo en inglés?

6/13/2007  

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