Saturday, May 31, 2014

Series - Locomotive - UP 2464 Fire Hydrant

"UP 2464 Fire Hydrant"
oil on panel, 2013
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78)

Number nine in my New Locomotive Series.

For this series, at least early on, my aim is to feature the locomotive in its entirety, in profile and in its environment.
The challenge with that is its horizontal format. That means I have to find ways to counter the side to side emphasis by using verticals and diagonals.
The hydrant was used as a compositional device. It helps break up the foreground horizontal sweep of the otherwise simple vacate street. This is part of my experimenting with the series.

Lighting is another element I am experimenting with. Here I backlit the subject as I did in "UP 4343". The difference in this one as opposed to UP 4343 is the locomotive is under a subtle undefined shadow consistent with the windy, cloudy spring day and not receiving a direct hit of sunlight.
So while UP 4343 has a diagonal streak of sunlight to break up the simplified foreground this one has a strong vertical to accomplish the same.
The same can be said of the clouds in each. It is not by accident but by design. In UP 4343 I designed the light streaking through the atmosphere to echo the foreground diagonal. Here I dragged nearly vertical streaks to break up the horizontal band of clouds and make a better composition.

I have some others in progress for this series that are different formats and views and will begin posting those in the near future.285

Click the 'SERIES-locomotive' label to see all.


  1. Hey Buddy!
    First I so hope the fire season is coming to an end! Hope is well in Southern California and Arizona!
    Of course I love the well done locomotive and the fantastic clouds! But I certainly have to give a shout out to the wonderful fire hydrant! I often think they are so left out as far as importance goes in this at times odd little scheme of things! I love the fact that the hydrant is "center staged!" You achieved everything you set out to do in this one David! (I once posted a small painting of a single red fire hydrant from my neighborhood! I titled it "The Littlest Hero!" Again great work here. Glad you posted this wonderful piece David. I was getting a bit "Avid Art Withdrawal" and concerned!
    Take care buddy!
    Your train, clouds, and little fire hydrant loving art buddy!

    1. Hey Michael!
      We have a ways to go before fire season ends. We just hope it won't be too bad.
      The hydrant begged to be painted, such a cool form it is! I'll have to get a look at your hydrant painting.
      Don't get too concerned. I am painting away lately and will get around to posting here more often again, just busy with other art projects that require my time. All part of the ebb and flow... right?

      Keep painting...
      Your Could End Up 'Well-Done' So Cal if the Fires get Out of Control Hydrant Painting Buddy!