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View Full Version : Night Train on the Coast Starlight - WIP


RegisR
03-04-2017, 04:50 PM
Started a new work yesterday. Another large one about 48x36. This will be an Amtrak locomotive, with four passenger cars. A lot of lighting effects, including headlights, truck lights and others. The night works are a great challenge and a lot of fun. I see a minor adjustment I have to make (coupler placement to the left, along with the snow plow, easy fix) but overall, I'm good with how it looks.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Mar-2017/1682843-A-030417_B.jpg

RegisR
03-19-2017, 12:56 PM
I've erased the whole thing almost half a dozen times, trying to get it right. The rendition above, just wasn't GE P30CH enough. That locomotive is 82 feet long and weighs 386,000 pounds (or 176,000, kilos for you European chaps).

I added some elements to it, to make it more interesting. There was a bridge on the original photo, so I added traffic. Then added a city landscape behind it, with a large dark hill on the right. Yes, it's imaginary, but it will entertain the viewer. It will be rendered as a night time scene, a city of lights, with the train, waiting at the station.

Latest revision:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Mar-2017/1682843-A_031817_A.jpg

RegisR
03-22-2017, 08:31 AM
Got a lot done, yesterday afternoon. I added an encroaching cloud bank coming from one side, over the city. Also played with the new 24" flexible ruler, I received. This, to do the curved tracks consistently. It is a learning experience for sure. Once you do a curved line, you'd better stick with it, because it's really difficult to rebend the ruler, to match it, later on!

Glad I got it, because drawing these large curves by hand and eye, is difficult, though, that's what I did, with the rail, that the train is sitting on.

Forgive the angled shot, I did this to eliminate the shadows of the raised sections of the drawing. Should be tilted to the right, just a bit. I added 'color' to the stripes and shading, just to see, how it would come out.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Mar-2017/1682843-Amtrak_032117.jpg

Shamrock15
03-22-2017, 03:56 PM
Drawing looks good. Would be careful with the light though as it could easily pull you away from the locomotive on this. I think if there are even a few small buildings above the loco it might help prevent the problem. In any case, it will be fun to see this work through.

RegisR
03-23-2017, 12:03 PM
Drawing looks good. Would be careful with the light though as it could easily pull you away from the locomotive on this. I think if there are even a few small buildings above the loco it might help prevent the problem. In any case, it will be fun to see this work through.

Thank you, for the suggestion. I think the small building idea would work well on a daylight scene, but I'm thinking of the locomotive as a dark, massive presence, versus the lighted buildings in the background (behind the hill, on the right).

The locomotive will have various points of lighting on it's own, that will enhance it, even with the nighttime city lights in the background. There will be a prominent headlight beam, pushing forward, along with a semi-muted and lit cab interior. The truck/wheel lights are on as well, illuminating the trucks and putting pools of lights alongside on the soil by the tracks. The upper cab lights and number boards are lit too, so I think, that will 'balance out' the city lights.

Finally, the passenger coach cars have lighting too, with all the windows lit up. And as final point of interest, the aircraft landing above, will have the nav lights on the wings and the tail illuminated, per common practice here in the US.

Looking forward to putting this to canvas!

:thumbsup:

RegisR
03-31-2017, 09:55 PM
Yesterday, I put the night sky to canvas and today, I added the moon and then, the encroaching cloud cover rolling in. Here's a pic of my drafting table/easel, my painting and of course, myself!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Mar-2017/1682843-A_033117.jpg

Trumper
04-01-2017, 01:39 PM
Blimey,that really brings the scale in ,WOW ,you need a paint roller not brushes :)

NeilF92
04-01-2017, 05:33 PM
Yes - that photo puts a different perspective on things - er , no - I mean scale! Wow!

snapspinner
04-01-2017, 10:20 PM
I didn't realize that you are painting these trains life size :) :) That is an impressive setup.

Like the way this is progressing by the way.

RegisR
04-03-2017, 12:03 PM
Thanks all, for the kind comments. They are all custom sized, off've a preprimed (triple gesso) canvas roll. Sir Trump suggested a roller! Actually, that might work out really well, as I've been using expensive house painting brushes and it might get me a smoother and more consistent finish.

I am having my first showing at a new art gallery in town. The people who frame my work, are opening a gallery next door and they want me to display and sell my art. I have done exhibitions and have sold prints and canvases, but not at an art gallery yet. So this is rather exciting for me.

gollum
04-03-2017, 01:14 PM
Best of luck with the exhibition :thumbsup:

NeilF92
04-03-2017, 02:17 PM
Good offer on the Art Gallery - good luck and bags of sales !

vegaskip
04-03-2017, 03:34 PM
Good luck with the show.
Jim

gollum
04-03-2017, 07:11 PM
Are the coaches really that height in comparison to the power unit

Power unit ... I find it hard to call a box on wheels a locomotive ;)

RegisR
04-04-2017, 10:32 AM
Are the coaches really that height in comparison to the power unit

Power unit ... I find it hard to call a box on wheels a locomotive ;)

:lol: :lol: :lol:

True, it is a box, but it is a manly, looking box, by golly!

As far as the relative size to the coaches, yes, that's what the photo showed. These GE P30CH's were really big units at 82' feet long and weighing nearly 400K pounds.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2017/1682843-GE_P30CH.JPG

RegisR
04-04-2017, 10:34 AM
Thanks all, Jim, Neil and Sir Gollum on the well wishes. I even created a neat tri-fold brochure, with the help of my wonderful wife!

Chas McHugh
04-04-2017, 11:12 AM
Good Luck with the gallery representation; hopefully it will be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

My favourite US rail coaches are the double decker overnight sleeps which in navy blue or unpolished aluminium look neat.

Are you going to do any work inside the gallery? I did in my last expo and it proved very popular - even people who have no interest in your subject like to see creativity in action.

In the UK it is open season on begging letters for free prints for charity raffles. I have nominated charities who I will support and everyone else can jog on.

RegisR
04-04-2017, 03:38 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol:

True, it is a box, but it is a manly, looking box, by golly!

As far as the relative size to the coaches, yes, that's what the photo showed. These GE P30CH's were really big units at 82' feet long and weighing nearly 400K pounds.



Sorry, this is a 'locomotive', not a unit!

RegisR
04-04-2017, 03:50 PM
Good Luck with the gallery representation; hopefully it will be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

My favourite US rail coaches are the double decker overnight sleeps which in navy blue or unpolished aluminium look neat.

Are you going to do any work inside the gallery? I did in my last expo and it proved very popular - even people who have no interest in your subject like to see creativity in action.

In the UK it is open season on begging letters for free prints for charity raffles. I have nominated charities who I will support and everyone else can jog on.

Thank you! The stepping stone part, is what I'm hoping for and my wife came up, with the very good idea of a tri-fold brochure! She wrote up the biography, I did the artist thoughts and designed the brochure in Powerpoint, using the available graphics.

I wish I could work on something in the gallery, but it is a narrow space as is and will be packed with many people on opening night, including the local press and local dignitaries, including some of my former customers. I do like the charity raffle for the prints and I will do that in the future. So far, I only have one painting, actually scanned!

Front of tri-fold brochure (the far right panel is the front and the center panel is actually the back. The left panel is the first fold out. Weird, huh?).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2017/1682843-TRI_Front.JPG

Rear of tri-fold. The first rear panel is alongside the left panel on the front and then you open it up, to see the two sample images.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Apr-2017/1682843-TRI_Back.JPG

Shamrock15
04-04-2017, 04:46 PM
Your brochure answers how someone named Gagnon ended up in California!
It looks good, best wishes for a fantastic opening night with a couple sales and/or commissions thrown in!

Gray539
04-04-2017, 06:33 PM
I grew up around trains. One of my favorite subjects. My gosh that's a big canvas.

RegisR
04-04-2017, 07:00 PM
Your brochure answers how someone named Gagnon ended up in California!
It looks good, best wishes for a fantastic opening night with a couple sales and/or commissions thrown in!

Thanks! A bunch of us, came down in the early 60's and I grew up in Downtown LA, near Griffith Park. My Dad, worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad for 25 years in the old Pacific Electric Building on 6th and Main.

RegisR
04-04-2017, 07:02 PM
I grew up around trains. One of my favorite subjects. My gosh that's a big canvas.


The big canvases are a challenge. I do like the roller suggestion from Chas, as I've actually had to throw away at least a couple of canvases that side, because the sky didn't come out 'right'!

RegisR
04-06-2017, 09:41 AM
Last week, I brought the huge pencil drawing in to a blueprint repro shop. Because of the hundreds of erasures on the pencil drawing and wrinkles, even with photo tricks, it still comes out really poorly. But putting it through a scanner/printer flattens it out, gets rid of the wrinkles and with brightness turned down and contrast turned up, it often comes out far better looking, than the drawing. I've already started putting this to canvas, but thought I'd share the results.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2017/1682843-Amtrak_040617.jpg

RegisR
04-08-2017, 12:02 PM
I know many of you, draw right on the canvas, but the size and complexity of the subjects I do, require a lot of erasing and corrections before I can paint them. The other day, I taped the original pencil drawing, over a carefully placed section of carbon paper on top of the canvas. I had already cut the carbon sheet in a 2/3 - 1/3 ratio, and set them end to end, because the back of the train is a lot narrower than the front.

After the drawing is taped on top, I then take a fine point ink marker to redo, every line on the drawing. If it's not inked, it hasn't been transferred to the canvas.

Carbon Paper on canvas (lightly taped at top, to avoid carbon smudging...)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Apr-2017/1682843-0407171453.jpg



After inking the pencil lines, the image is thus, transferred...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Apr-2017/1682843-0407171453b.jpg

Here's the carbon paper, afterwards, taped to the window of the studio.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Apr-2017/1682843-0407171457.jpg

RegisR
04-12-2017, 08:44 AM
God, do I love to paint! Started painting the locomotive, so I could gauge how dark, the rest of the scene should be. While I was at it, I added the dark underside to the clouds, using one of those big puffy brushes, nearly dry and swirling it. While avoiding the hill on the right, it actually created the atypical city glow from the backside, which was something I wanted to do anyway. Once the whole train is finished, there is a bridge behind the train, with traffic, running along the hillside, then the city skyline and the foreground is last. None of that, is on the original slide, so it will be interesting to pull off an imaginary landscape!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Apr-2017/1682843-Amtrak_041117.jpg

RegisR
04-14-2017, 11:19 PM
I actually had a 18x24, cheapie canvas, that I painted small dark panels, so I could practice the headlights, before I screw it up on the real painting. It was nice too, to develop the straight dry stroke with a wide flat brush. Honestly, it took a few practice renditions, but then I just went ahead and did it. Added lighting to the open door, detailed the interior and then did the radiator and intercooler panels on the side.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Apr-2017/1682843-0414171718.jpg

Close up:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Apr-2017/1682843-0414171719.jpg

vegaskip
04-15-2017, 04:11 AM
Like the inside lighting effect.
Jim

RegisR
04-15-2017, 11:21 AM
Thanks Jim. I'm trying to learn that fine line between not enough emphasis and too much. The headlight beam was a struggle, because of just that.

What's going to be tough, is doing the reflections on the dark side panels of the locomotive. Too bright and it looks like a mess. My plan is to outline the panels with a pencil. The panels often have a little warpage to them, as they are sheet metal and not perfectly flat, so the light reflects in curves on the high areas and fades on the low or shaded areas.

Any suggestions on how some of you do night time reflections on subjects like this would be appreciated.

RegisR
04-19-2017, 09:38 PM
As mentioned in Chas's Sea King thread. A lot of work left, but getting to nearly completing the upper section of the locomotive. Needs hand rungs on the front, panel lines and then I can start the bottom part.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Apr-2017/1682843-A_041917.jpg

RegisR
04-27-2017, 08:44 AM
Updating the WIP, added the front and rear trucks and also addressed the lighting of the front truck. That was really tricky for me, to illuminate it, because I had to paint the effects of the lighting on the truck, before I actually added the light itself.

Also began work on the cars. Again, I used automotive pinstriping tape in various widths to keep the lines straight. It is tough on these linear objects to paint an absolutely straight line, but the tape makes it a bit easier. The doors on the cars will be lit, as well as the sections in between, as that what the photo depicts.

This afternoon, I begin on the passenger car windows. They vary in width and number. Some have four wide windows, some have eight or even nine smaller ones, some, have only one on each end, so there will be some of that, in this painting. Thanks for viewing.

Overall pic:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Apr-2017/1682843-Amtrak_042717_Oveall_Pic.jpg


Close up of locomotive:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Apr-2017/1682843-Amtrak_042717_Close_Up.jpg

RegisR
04-28-2017, 09:51 AM
Funny, how I drew the cloud blank out of my imagination and look what the sunrise looked like this morning! Of course, mine is a night picture, but you get the idea.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Apr-2017/1682843-Amtrak_042817_Clouds.jpg

NeilF92
04-28-2017, 10:05 AM
Coming on well - will the trucks be as pale as this at the finish or darker ?

RegisR
04-28-2017, 10:12 AM
Coming on well - will the trucks be as pale as this at the finish or darker ?

Because it's a night picture, the front truck is actually illuminated by the crew ladder light underneath the lower edge, while the rear truck is unlit. When I paint the foreground, I will be pooling the light on the ground surrounding that area.

RegisR
04-28-2017, 10:16 AM
Last night, painted the passenger car windows and the freeway bridge, behind the train. Except for the locomotive and the first few cars, this will be all out of my imagination!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Apr-2017/1682843-Amtrak_042817_A.jpg

Trumper
04-28-2017, 11:49 AM
That looks nice.The height difference between your locos and coaches is huge compared to ours in the UK.

RegisR
04-28-2017, 02:20 PM
That looks nice.The height difference between your locos and coaches is huge compared to ours in the UK.


Thank You. Here's another pretty good pic to see, just how big, that particular locomotive is compared to similar passenger cars, depicted in the painting. Yes, they are a good deal 'taller' and that's how I have to depict it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Apr-2017/1682843-GE_P30CH.JPG

RegisR
05-06-2017, 06:16 PM
Coming along...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-May-2017/1682843-A_050617.jpg

RegisR
05-07-2017, 05:41 PM
Added the moonlit ocean on the left, along with a dark coastline. A lot of fun, creating a scene like this, out of my imagination!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-May-2017/1682843-A_050717_.jpg

Gray539
05-08-2017, 03:01 PM
Looking good, Regis.

RegisR
05-08-2017, 09:13 PM
Thank You. Today, I did the foreground. That was an interesting experience, as there's a lot of canvas to cover! This time, I resisted messing with the wet acrylic as it dried unevenly across such a large area. As it dries in uneven patches, there's a weird effect as some areas are shiny and some aren't and because they are slightly different, I've made the mistake of trying to fix something, I should've just left alone!

RegisR
05-08-2017, 09:16 PM
Before applying the dark foreground.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-May-2017/1682843-A_050717_C_.jpg

Chas McHugh
05-09-2017, 11:20 AM
I'm not really sure where you are going with this one so am a little reticent to offer any advice; but you should be mindful of the fact that the human eye cannot see red at night*. There are medical reasons why; the short version is cones v poles inside the eye. If you take that as a given - I would be tempted to add green** to your side stripes which will neutralise the impact of the red without totally losing the tone.
*(Unless artificially illuminated)
**(Opposite colour on the colour wheel - Cadmium Green is good for this)

The clouds appear a little too opaque for me, especially when you have the option of the moon being partially seen through the cloud. The moon on skies such as this tends to have a halo surrounding it.

I appreciate that it is far from finished; and hope that my observation may keep you 'on track'.

RegisR
05-09-2017, 08:37 PM
Thanks Chas! I actually thought of the halo too, but it isn't easy unless you do it with oils, because dry brushing just doesnt' have the same effect and I would've had to admittedly plan this to wet paint, while the sky was getting painted out, because acrylics dry so fast.. I did lighten up the exposed cloud surfaces around the moon as much as possible, without making it an 'obvious effect'. Honestly, I didn't want to distract or mis-do the effect.

The clouds, moon, cityscape were all out of my imagination, so I had no real reference that I thought would work. Ah, yes, the red. I actually did do that to begin with, but redid it with a darkened red, versus the opposite of the color wheel (I have three of them). Then, I'd have to do, the blue stripe, the same way and the two clashed. Artistically, to a well-versed artist or highly knowledgeable viewer, yes, you are absolutely correct, but that's not my intent. I wanted to preserve the tonal quality of the red, all the way around, from the lit side of the front, to the dark side.

Eventually, I'll be trying out oils soon and have the book you recommended on 'glazing' on my Amazon 'wish' list. Finally, many of my paintings aren't necessarily accurate or photographic-illustration quality for sure, but what I think they do capture is the 'feel' of whatever scene I portray. In my sixth year of painting, and I do have a lot to learn as well, so I will have to try to incorporate the changes in technique, theory and color, in small increments. Big changes just don't work for me! Thanks again, for your thoughts and advice!

Chas McHugh
05-10-2017, 05:43 AM
If you review my Dambuster Lancaster thread I think you will see how I manufactured the halo. I painted most of the sky a dark inclusive of Paynes grey - indigo and raw umber apart from a 4" circle around the moon. This was biased towards a cold blue such as Cobalt. With a large fan brush I blended the dark into the blue expanding outwards and returning inwards in a circular motion until such time as I reached the effect that I wanted.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-May-2017/984204-13041351_10153508734433483_3766071826243558525_o.jpg

The clouds were added wet on wet and soon faded into the background so as to not present harsh contrast that diverts attention away from the primary subject. Once dry; I glazed the entire area with a Raw Umber glaze - so much so that if I recall correctly, I had to top up the moon to restore some vibrancy in it afterwards.

When I said I wasn't sure where you were going with it; you have answered that one in your reply - thank you - and for what you are striving for; it is looking very good.

If you had it crossing a road / rail intersection with a vehicle in the bottom right corner, the lights from that vehicle (& street lighting) could completely change the colouring to virtually daylight.