Value Studies for Rainy Streets


The homework for Gary Tucker’s last workshop was to do a local rainy scene. Now we haven’t had any rain in forever and the only rainy photo I had was from New York so that went into the pile. I plucked a few others from pixabay and went to work.

These are all small (5”x7”) value studies to work out composition and values.

First a simple scene with a lot of red.


Not bad but lets try a few more and see how they do.


I also quite liked this one. Nice contrasts in the car and the shadows on the street and misty buildings.

Next was my New York photo. I did two of these a day or so apart

It may not be obvious but I was much happier with the second one. It’s a complicated scene and I was starting to get to grips with some of the subtleties in the value changes. Maybe one more of these and I’ll be ready to paint!

And for completeness a quick still life warmup and some mid value mixing practice. I was trying to go in and paint everything with a mid value or lower in a single shape. Then go back in with lighter values and finally the darkest darks. Not perfect but a worthwhile exercise.


Gary Tucker Workshop – Rain in NYC


I zoomed another Gary Tucker workshop this weekend. It’s tough as he paints in a very different way to me and nothing really came out well. In fact my value study above was the thing i was most pleased with.

I did two paintings in the end. One paintings along with him and one today at my own pace. Here is the paintalong one:


Yes it’s a bit scrappy and I wasn’t happy at all at the end. After 24 hours though I can see some good in it. The values are strong and there’ssome nice color variation in the road. On the whole though I was rushed and didn’t feel I’d done it justice.

So today I did another version. Pretty much the same method – initial colored washes, second washed with a mid value, then the colors and the darks. Here it is:


The perspective is better but it still was a struggle and I’m uncomfortable painting this way. I’ll persist though – the big shapes are good and the values again are strong. Maybe one day…

New York Streets


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After yesterday’s relative success with Arlington St I was looking forward to doing some more street scenes.    This is from a photo I took last year when James and I visited and it was a challenge from the start. 

I couldn’t muster up the energy to finish this one and will take another look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow. 

A couple of intermediates.   First the drawing.  A little heavy handed but I was quite pleased with the arrangement of the cars.  Lots of interesting shapes and not too many large gaps between them.


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After the first washes.  Quietly confident as always at this point