Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pacific Harbor Line at 6x6 Show

"PHL 64"
oil on panel, 2012
6" x 6" (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

My third painting featured in the up-coming 6 Inch Squared show at the Randy Higbee Gallery. See two previous posts below for more.
You can also see and purchase them online here before the show opens on December 8th 2012.

Although many train artists might shy away from overlapping the train with objects I don't see it as a painting of a locomotive with stuff thrown around it as a second thought, but instead a painting in all its totality first, then one of a locomotive.

A sunny day with the marine layer hugging the ground and thin wispy clouds yielding soft undefined shadows.
I pushed the limits of this kind of light from the front to the back of the locomotive, highlighting the front then severely dropping the back into (soft) shadow.

That gave it some extra depth and enabled me to nearly bump the front of the locomotive up against the edge of the picture plane and break the compositional rule of 'avoiding tangents'. Using the bright sun and atmospheric effect for value control also puts the emphasis on the back end of the engine.

One final touch was throwing a reflected light on the far side of the back of the engine.198

Click on image to larger view


  1. David!
    I agree with you, "Painting First! Locomotive Second!" Art should always come before ...just about anything in the work. (In my very humble opinion!)
    This is a very powerful piece.
    My dad worked for the New Haven Railroad back in the day. Trains always have a special place in my heart.
    Your use of the medium and other art choices you made, make this a very dramatic and very successful work of art.
    East Coast Michael

  2. Thanks Michael,
    Cool your Dad was with a railroad. My Nephew recently started with BNSF! So there will be plenty more!
    I get the love of trains from my paternal Grandfather and my Dad. But it was my Dad, an artist too, who would say... nice train.... but what about the rest of the painting?... the big picture!
    Painting first!Locomotive second!

    Keep painting...