I was a little frightened to start this rather large painting of the Steel Bridge in Portland. There are so many things going on with the structure. The process of doing artwork or design for me is a battle, which is a good thing. I prefer to attack the canvas than be too tentative.
Obviously, there is no realistic way that I can include all the information in the scene, but I can focus on the major elements. A photograph will get all the detail, so take a picture if that is what you want. This is a painting and I think it should look like a painting.
The underpainting, shown above, has a very sketchy look to it and I am happy with the result. I did take a lot of time to get the major lines correct and it feels good.
Before I started the line work, I washed the canvas with red oxide paint, thinned with spirits and then wiped with a rag to give a nice, warm base tone. I chose this color because there are hints of rust in the bridge. The color will show through in spots, even in the sky.
Being and architect and doing a lot of architectural renderings and perspective drawings is probably a big bonus for me doing paintings like this. Actually, I would not have chosen this bridge or scene myself, but someone wanted a painting of the thing. I'm not usually into punishing myself this much. It is turning out to be a great challenge and I am looking forward to when this layer dries so I can attack it again.
Here is some more detail.