View Full Version : Here it is.....ugh....

10-13-2005, 12:13 AM
Here's the shopping center I'm supposed to paint. A friend owns the entire building and also owns the Blimpies franchise. This painting would be hung in his office as part of a collection of paintings of all his properties - the rest are houses and small apartments (to be painted later). The size is pretty small. This is 8x16 and already is bigger than the planned size for all the paintings in the group which I thought would be around 8x10..

This is definitely NOT finished. There is plenty of detail to finish up - people, their shadows, the curb, the sign, etc. But I'm probably just going to stop here and start over. I actually did this from a sketch I made and not the photo, so it doesn't compare perfectly to the photo - I notice a few dimensions/sizes are off, the width of the spaces between the different shops. (edited to add...wow just looking at the photo and the painting next to eachother and of the same size is showing me ALOT of places where I need to change shapes and angles---YIKES!--I think I'm embarrased to have them posted here together!!!)

I would really like for this to turn out to look like somebody artistic painted it!! LOL Right now it's headed for a paint by numbers look. (I did do a practice one of a night scene and while it has potential, I'm not sure if that's the right look for this project, either.) So besides fixing the obvious perspective and size errors now.....anything in style or technique or viewpoint to suggest??????

HELP! I'm about one more try from just telling him I can't do the project.



10-13-2005, 12:46 AM
Amy, with all your moanin' and groanin' goin' on, I thought this building was just brown with no color!!!! :evil: :D

There is plenty of color here and you are doing a good job on it. One nit. Your parking lot looks as if it drops off the edge of the concrete sidewalk. LOL

As you mentioned, your perspective is off. The building will be much more dramatic with proper perspective as in the photo.

Your people are great, and add some wonderful life to this.

You're on your way! :D


P.S. You might want to make the scene more of a close-up and have the right (as viewed) edge cut into the building, as is shown in the photograph.

10-13-2005, 01:51 AM
This is looking quite nice.... I like your sky, it has a nice "painterly" feel to it. I think you just need to punch up the shadows a bit, which will give it more dimension, and your people could stand some shading too, they are very pale and "one-dimensional". Looks like you've got the sunshine coming from the right side, so give them some shading on their left sides, then the sunny bits on their clothing will pop.

I'm glad you left out the hamburger banner above the ''Blimpie" sign, and the signage between the doors in the middle. They would have made it too cluttered.

I like the way you hinted at brickwork at the front and on the corner.... do just a tiny bit more of that on the right side of the building too.

Yes, your parking area looks like a drop-off at the front. Get rid of the downward strokes below the sidewalk and hopefully that will correct itself. And maybe if you hint at the yellow parking stall lines, those angles will help the perspective.

Maybe a few tree-tops peeking from the top of the building (artistic license, I know they aren't really there) and at the right-hand side, which looks a bit bare and needs SOMETHING. Don't give up on this, I think you can really make it great. I'd love to see the night-time version too!

10-13-2005, 08:44 AM
You are on the right track and have good advice.

Do remember tho' the signs you do leave there have to be correct..:) (I am looking at their blimpie sign.. You have left out the red around the writing..

10-13-2005, 09:04 AM
LOL...there's still masking on the red Blimpie stripe. I haven't bothered to take it off because I realize that the writing is too high on the sign anyway. And this is definitely a practice painting.

BUT- I do have a question about the signs. Because he actually OWNS the Blimpies I wanted to make that end of the building the focus and wanted it to be obvious that it was a Blimpies. I plan to do that sign accurately. But I'm not sure about the others....for one thing, they are so small that its difficult to put the accurate details in. For another thing, the coffee shop at the end has already said they are leaving at the end of their lease in a few months. By February there could be a totally different sign in there anyway. Is it possible/okay to just suggest the signs...with the shapes and colors but not actually put in real words and details??

10-13-2005, 09:07 AM
Oooops..:o ;)

Sounds like good planning to me.

Strawberry Wine
10-13-2005, 03:13 PM
Amy, this is a very good practice painting!!! Love the way you have enhanced the building. What size is this painting and what size will the final be???

Make sure your final drawing of the building is extremely accurate (perspectively ) before you transfer the drawing onto your watercolour paper. If you use a heavier paper for the final, there will be less buckling and any corrections that may be needed will lift easier. Bockingford 200 is excellent as is Arches 300

You have already received excellent advice regarding other issues. I am waiting to see where you go with this commision.

You are on your way!!!!



10-14-2005, 10:21 AM
Hi Amy.....
I see no reason to not paint the signs as accurately as possible....if that was a Starbucks on the corner.....I am more than sure they would love any publicity they can get....for free.
I like what you have done and a trial painting is always an advantage....the b/g behind the signs is right on...
Like the guy on the chair....hope he's the Army recruiter with no customers.
Why not try it "straight on" rather than angled....and show just the yellow paint at the curb, but keep the bare-bones look background?
Just a thought however....

10-18-2005, 04:55 PM

This sounds like a really neat ongoing project which I'm sure you are going to be able to do a great job with—once you get over the "opening night" jitters.

I think this was a good idea to do as a "practice" piece so you could work out what you liked and what you didn't.

Since the person who gave you the commission owns the Blimpies, I think you should definitely make that the focal point and give it the most detail. The awning shape and color and the Blimpies' logo shoud be as accurate as you can make it. Since the hamburger sign is just a temporary banner, I agree with your decision to leave it out. As for the other signs, put in their shapes to show that there are other stores in the strip, but don't worry about details. Just do suggested writing as you did for the Army Recruiting Sign.

I like your people addition and the trees at the end. Agree with ^^^ about the parking lot. Why not move in a little closer so you have less of it to show?

Looking forward to seeing your next version. I think this is an interesting project.


10-19-2005, 01:17 PM
Hi Amy - you sure made the building look interesting.

Yes, the streaks on the forecourt do make it look as if it is sloping away, I would leave them out.

I suggest you vignette the painting - let it fade away at the edges so that you can ignore its surroundings.