"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.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Christmas in LaGrange.

"Old Lagrange Rd" a painting by James Swanson  24" x 30" oil on canvas

A while back I was asked if I would create a painting for the holiday Christmas season in Lagrange. I live there and have a gallery, so of coarse I said yes. I then started a quest to find the right spot to depict the village in that season.

I scouted for weeks looking at everything, from grey days to snowy days from side streets to the city hall. Finally one morning after dropping off my son at his school, I was stuck at a traffic light in downtown Lagrange and saw this scene from my car. 
It was one of those mornings where everything was super bright, fresh feeling and crystal clear. The sun was just making its way over the building tops to my right and the light hits this corner and POW! The buildings start to light up with this warm glow! I pulled out my iPhone and snapped off quite a few shots and new this scene would make a nice larger size of a painting. 

So here are the painting steps I did after taking the photos from the car. This is how I go about making all of my paintings.

Step 1.  After I had designed the painting, I toned the canvas and grew in my design.

Step 2. Painting in the darkest parts of the painting. Which were the lower areas of the buildings and the street.

Step 3. Next I painted in the buildings and a few details.

Step 4. After putting in the sky and clouds it was time to go back and make color and drawing corrections.

Step 5. Here the painting is after day one. A lot of nice things are starting to take form. Many areas I won't touch again.

Step 6. OK, after looking at this painting with a fresh eye I felt it was boring and not very cheerful for the subject matter it was to represent. So I when back and incorporated some other photos I took with people in them.

Done! The last stage of the painting. Since adding people I made a few other color changes to make them work with the scene better.
This is how my painting was used in the Holiday postcard.
The painting went on display at the gallery for the season and I am very happy to say that it now resides in the home of one of my painting students.

To see more of this painting project or to see others that I have been doing go to my website www.TheArtistandTheTraveler.org

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