I was heading up to find a canyon with a couple of painters during the Laguna invitational, the forecast was rain and, as predicted it was overcast and spitting all day. The canyons are tough to paint in flat light and one of the artists wanted to find some trucks, so we headed to Silverado. It sounded like a great little town with saloons and horses and dancing girls, but, no, it had more of a “highest meth lab per capita” kind of feel to it or maybe a little town you’d find on X-Files. Not sure I would have painted there on my own. Since I had my cadre of tough-as-nails painting buddies, I wasn’t scared. On the right hand side of this “town” was this place, sort of a U-store it, except everything was stored on the outside. On the left side there was not much.
It’s funny to think that I flew 3500 miles to paint trucks and old shacks but you paint the thing that rings the bell and this was it for me. The main reason I’m posting it is to talk about tackling the difficult task of getting all that perspective right. The best way to do it is to simplify all the elements down to key lines, a sort of wire frame if you will. To draw the truck I started off with a series of boxes drawn in perspective and then slowly added and rounded all the details. Same with the buildings and tractor. If you just try to follow the shapes, draw the exterior, you’ll never get it right. You can do it hard or you can do it easy. Up to you.
By the way, it’s a common problem for me to overfill a canvas. I get so caught up in drawing the stuff that I sometimes make it all toooo big and the thing just feels like 10 lbs of stuff in a 5 lb bag. This time I washed in a value that simply stated the positive shape of the group so that I made sure I left room for the negative shapes (sky and ground) and started my drawing within those parameters.