The Permanent City I


The Permanent City, Pencil on Paper, 24 x 36 in., 2017

A new project, called the Permanent City, has dominated the past several months of studio time and is currently the largest undertaking of 2017. This project exists as a drawing, above, and several small oil studies, all working towards the eventual production of a 24 x 36 inch oil painting. This elaborate preparatory drawing has just been completed after nearly 70 hours of work. Soon, it will be etched onto a maple board and painted. The project is conceptually similar to this painting from last year. Lots of details and images of the drawing below.

The central tower of the Permanent City is a dense construction of cubes, wedges, spires, pitched roofs, and windows.

Detail of the lower left hand area with a bridge and buildings hugging a waterway. A Pagoda-style tower on the right, and mountains in the distance.

Detail of the lower central area where the water reaches the buildings and land. Replete with a 12-sided polygonal forum, staircases, pyramid, arches, towers, and monuments.

Detail of the lower right hand side of the picture with a tree and stones in the foreground and a confluence of trees, rivers, and towers sinking back into space towards a distant mountain.

Detail of the upper left hand side of the drawing showing text and technical information related to the image's construction. The diagram at center shows the location of the vanishing points in the drawing's perspective system; a series of points to which a draftsmen directs rulers to determine the correct angle of forms. The right diagram illustrates the scale of the golden rectangle (Fibonacci sequence) used in the drawing. This arc careens across the picture and dictates the location of major visual elements...

Note how the mountains, clouds, right-most tree, and buildings organize themselves around this arc and a series of perfect squares. The sequence cradles the base of the city and ends its spiral atop the tallest and most prominant spire. A multitude of additional lines dictate the location and angles of the remaining elements of the picture.

Several small oil studies are being developed to determine the palette and lighting scheme of the Permanent City; two 5 x 5 inch paintings and one 8.5 x 11 inch painting. These are "studies as finished works" and will hang alongside the finished painting. The paintings began development when the essential forms of the drawing were established. These pictures have less detail (no windows). This photograph also shows the raw umber (dark brown) ground on which I make my paintings. Its much easier to paint on a toned surface than a white one as it allows the artist to apply both the lightest lights and darkest darks. You can see this effect in the central 5 x 5.

More on this very soon...


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