Re-discovering My Scraped Cityscapes

I’ve been busy in my studio lately working on “re-discovering” my feel and technique for mini cityscapes that I once painted many years ago.  The technique for creating these mini paintings is a combo of wash, timing, perspective and a quick hand with scraping shapes.

I first lay down a wash that will give me some good contrasts in the shapes I’ll scrape out while also providing an overall mood to the painting (night/day, winter, foggy, Chicago or New York…).  These go quickly since I have a short time before the wash becomes too dry to successfully scrape shapes.

I’m having a more difficult time re-discovering how to paint these with results I’m happy with than I expected.  Most frustrating seems to be that the pieces of  rigid plastic (like cut-up credit cards… take THAT Chase Bank!) aren’t scraping satisfactorily.  And, it has taken many tries to remember what paper is best (I like 140lb. Fabriano hotpress).  At least in this example, the John Hancock tower is recognizable and I love the rather monotone feel I captured for Chicago (uh, I LOVE Chicago – “monotone” isn’t a bad thing).

What do you think?

Chicagoscape, watercolor, 6 x 6 inches.
Chicagoscape, watercolor, 5 x 5 inches.