"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Map it and Paint it.

I've done quite a few different ways of traveling so far on this painting journey. I've seen things from Travelers on glaciers to volcanoes, from oceans to mountains and now with the help of Google street maps I get to see Terre Haute IN.
Down town Terre Haute the land of the Wabash Cannonball.
 This is the kind of photo that I used to paint this little part of this painting project.

One of the many views of Terre Haute, IN. I found during my virtual tour 
of this all American type city. This is the first stage of this painting that
 I was able to do in one quick sitting, I liked a lot of it and didn't 
think a ton of more work was needed. 
I got this idea from my wife Becky, who is a professional children's photographer. She does a lot of Traveling around Chicago for photo shoots and likes to see exactly where she is heading and she uses Google maps to see what the street looks like and where she can find parking.
I thought it was an interesting idea to travel using Google maps to see an area so I thought I'd try it out on this next little project of Terre Haute IN. paintings. 

"NEXT TO THE TRACKS"12" x 16"  I really didn't do an awful lot more to this painting from the last stage. I toned down the house made the tree next to it stronger. I also added a man to it. 
Traveler paintings of Terre Haute via Google maps: Most Traditional artist these days paint with photos as reference in some way shape or form. Some artists like perfect photos and some like really bad ones to work from. I myself will use anything. To me no matter how good or bad you photo reference is you are still making a painting and it has to stand alone by its self in the end. So these map photos from Google will do the trick just fine. Also I  painted these in a plein air style( as if I were standing right there.) and paint them pretty fast.
Steps to a few Google map paintings

The painting of 3rd Street is started. I've been trying out a
big brush technique to block in paintings a little different.
Here is the color palette that I mixed up for the start of this painting.

One of my favorite parts on a painting is putting
 in the dark colors in the beginning.

Putting in the sky here was pretty simple with this big brush technique.

The painting is blocked in here and is now ready
for a few corrections and details.
Almost there. Just some general clean up and some color adjustments are needed.
"3RD STREET" 12 x 16"

I found this little scene on Putnum Street and felt it
would be a nice little painting. Using the big brush technique.
I was able to this painting going pretty fast. 
"PUTNUM STREET" 14"x 18"

N 4th street Terre Haute, IN
After I found this place to paint I did play with the image in Photoshop before it was ready to  paint.
I also wanted to paint this as if I were standing right there (Plein air style) in the summer sun.
Oil sketch for the painting "Edge of Town".
I was real excited about this spot I found in Here haute and
wanted to paint the painting with that feeling. 

The warm darks are painted on top of the sketch.
This big brush technique keeps me from noodling
things out and forces me to see the big picture.

Putting in the rough landscape and trying to keep the painting
exciting with stroke and color.
Blocked in. A lot of good things are going on so far with this painting.
Now all i have to do is find away to tie them together.  
"EDGE OF TOWN" 16"x 20" oil
Near plum street you will find the Railroad Museum. There you will find all kinds of railroad history from locomotives to historic buildings. There on the edge of the museum property is the Halley Tower. It's the last maned switching station in the Midwest. Thus worthy of a painting.

HALEY TOWER, 20"x 16" oil
My little Google trip of Terre Haute IN. was a virtual a wakening. Seeing this city street by street from a distance was pretty extraordinairy. I highly recommend it for everyone. Check out Terre Haute sometime it's a very interesting place to see from a computer or with your own eyes!
Off I go to another town. If you have a town that you want me to check out send me a note here or at the website- www.theartistandthetraveler.org.
Until next time Tally Ho!