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One of the things I like about painting the places I’ve visited, is that it makes you stop and examine the details of the things you hurriedly snapped photos of as you wandered around in a daze exploring a city. I tend to take photos with paintings in mind, so there’s not a ton of cropping or other editing necessary. But I’m still so busy photographing everything I find even vaguely interesting, that I don’t process what I’m seeing fully. So, I love sitting down with a paintbrush, examining the photos I’ve taken, and recreating the photo in a new way. Sometimes I’ll do the same scene in different styles, sometimes I just create a quick sketch, and other times I get really detailed with it.

These two paintings are of the same street in Rouen, France, but from opposite ends of that street.

Painting - Rouen 2

Rue Malpalu, Rouen, France 8″ x 6″ watercolor on paper

Gene

Painting - Rouen

Rue Malpalu, Rouen, France II 6″ x 8″ watercolor on paper

Generally, getting shots of a street without people in it is a challenge. I take a series of shots from the same angle so that, as people move in and out of view, I can see what’s there when the people aren’t in the way. That way, if someone is blocking a doorway or some shutters in one shot, they won’t be in the next, so between the several photos, I can get an accurate idea of what that doorway or shutter actually looks like. Then I can selectively add or delete people as I sketch out the painting.

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