|6/13/19 Maple Leaf neighborhood alley|
After spotting the rare (in my ‘hood) alley on Eighth Northeast a few weeks ago, I’ve been looking for them more actively, and I found another. Walking in the early morning, I was immediately attracted to the backlighting that made the trees shimmer on top and around the edges. An admirer of Virginia Hein’s sketches of backlit objects (heck, I admire all of her sketches!), I have been studying the way she captures that luminosity, so I thought this alley would be a good subject for practicing this.
The first day I made a bicolor study (below) – using yellow/purple this time instead of vermilion/blue – to pay attention to the tonal contrasts. A couple of days later, I went back at about the same time so that the lighting would be the same (at right). This time I used natural colors, and if I started getting distracted by local hues (like those blue and green trash bins), I glanced back at my bicolor study to remind myself of the values. Initially I had made the trash bins much brighter, but the study reminded me that were still in shade, so I toned them down. I think I lost a bit of the luminosity that I had exaggerated with that bright yellow in the study, but overall, I like the way the sketch turned out. I think making the yellow/purple study first was very helpful. (I wish the garbage truck had appeared again, but it was the wrong day.)