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Starting a new commissioned painting of New York City

After posting my last commissioned painting here, i've been getting requests like crazy. This is a good thing, and since my latest commission has been finally been confirmed, I will post my progress on this painting here. 

It is a busy Time Square piece that started out as a sketch above. The client fell in love with it and requested a large canvas 60" x 72". It barely fits in my small studio now, but once I move into my new studio I'll have plenty of room. However, I am trying to get it finished before the move. Obviously the drawing above is pencil and doesn't show the color of Time Square. Along with my sketching a scene, I take photos of the area to use as reference later on. 

So, let's get to it. The first thing I do is get the sketch approved. The second is to agree on the size of the canvas, and the third is to pick a color scheme, season, time of day, and include any extra final touches the client wants. The client asked me to include faces of her family members into the scene, which I thought was a very cool idea. So, I will paint her family into crowds occupying Time Square.

The ever empty blank canvas, that is soon to be not so empty.

Laying down the underpainting.

Giving it some texture as I go.

After the underpainting has time to dry, I will start blocking in color.

Laying down the first of my lines without a ruler. I always prefer to rough in the outline of everything, and later go back and straighten things out with a yardstick.

Sometimes the rough line work gives my paintings a certain look and feel that I like.

Time Square is about the people just as much as the buildings, so here I am roughing in the people walking in various directions, along with the traffic of course.

Here I am adding some more color and definition.

Here is a little more refinement, and bringing in colors throughout the piece.

Finally, some facial features and a little detail in the foreground. I've straightened out a few lines to make the perspective more accurate, but if you've ever been to Time Square, then you know everything seems like its on top of itself anyway. The painting at this point is about 80% complete in my mind. Which still seems far away from done.

I'll post future updates soon, so check back for more.

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