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Here's an even larger painting that I did recently from some of my Florence references. I experimented with my process on this one. The references weren't that great, so I started with burnt umber and OMS and just played around with the values where I wanted to see changes. I brushed on more paint for darks, and wiped off paint with paper towels and squeegees to go lighter (hint, if you brush on OMS and then squeegee it, you can precisely remove paint down to almost nothing). One thing in particular that I changed was to add the shadow that sticks out on the ground behind the foreground gals. Without it the scene seemed like two separate parts: the left and the right. I really feel like the shadow connects them, while being believable.
Once I was happy with the values, I painted for a few hours and then let it dry overnight, unfinished. The next day I had a fresh perspective and was able to see more clearly where I wanted to take it. I found I really liked some of the areas where I had pushed around the burnt umber much better than the actual scene, so I mostly left them alone. Sometimes I would paint an area and then decide to wipe it off and try again. Having the dry underpainting really helped me with that because it left a road map behind. All in all I'm quite happy with how it turned out.
Regardless of changes, a very good sense of place. Good work.
And thanks for sharing your notes on process.
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