I had the idea for this painting rolling around in my head for some time. The middle of the day is not my favorite time to paint as the shadows are often small and the colors are too washed out. However, I wanted to try this back-lit village scene with the street, buildings and cars.
There weren’t really any people around at the time that I took the reference photos for this painting which is surprising considering all the cars that were there. I decided to add some people to the landscape to give it more life.
The challenge for a painting like this is, first, to get the perspective correct. Perspective can be conveyed not only from the actual drawing but distance is also indicated by the shading. The farther away the objects, the lighter the shading. The second challenge is to ensure that the colors are right, that enough details are included without being too focused on details. It’s all a matter of balance.
I added more color to the street to “lay it down”, that is, to make sure it didn’t appear floating. This is where having a lot of experience in plein air painting helps. Photos often make the darks too dark and the lights too light. Copying a photo exactly often gives unsatisfying results.
Overall, I liked the challenge of this painting. It has been on display at a local gallery and many people have recognized the scene and commented on it.