Could go on adding detail forever & making changes; decided it was time to call it a day! This was a challenge....cars aren't so easy! Based on a photo I took on a visit to San Francisco some years ago.
12" x 12"
water soluble oil on canvas

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Comment by Michael J. Severin on July 23, 2013 at 0:42

Manneherrin, about your comment, you really had me laughing on that one!!! ..alas, I feel the same way.

Comment by Michael J. Severin on July 23, 2013 at 0:38

Hi Jessica.  Yes, the dark parts of the trolley that are IN THE LIGHT  are the darkest thing in the light.  The shadows UNDER  the cars and trolley are DARKS (no light there).    The van is the Lightest thing in the dark .....so ....the white van would be darker. The shadow under the trolley is in the dark family though.  Look at the fender of your trolley, it is as dark as the light post in shadow.  Since you cannot darken the light post anymore, the fender can be edged up a notch.  The little fender below is good as well as your tires and windows on the cars in the light.  Yes, another doggone "Rule":  EVERYTHING  in the light family, stays in the light family, EVERYTHING  in the dark family, stays in the dark family.  They might come pretty close, but they do not overlap.  A good experiment is to go outside and put a dark vase on a white table cloth.  Create a shady spot on the table (if there is none) and put a white cup in the shade......then compare and see what you think?  The sunlit part of the dark vase should be lighter then the white cup!!! ....your brain will play a trick on you here ....because it will say ..black vase MUST be darker then WHITE cup ..but erase what you think you know, and really analyze it.  Remember,  shady areas such as in trees, under things, etc ....are in the DARK FAMILY, because, the object might be in the light, but those areas are not in the light.  In our example of the dark vase in the light, the shadow side is NOT in the light, nor is its cast shadow, or the dark immediately beneath it ..those are all in the dark family because no light is there.  Yes, you could word in that way.  Your last statement tells me that you are understanding this concept .. ?  After this concept, there will be hundreds more ....alas, it never stops.

Comment by Manneherrin on July 22, 2013 at 19:11

Ok, I just looked up his art (Joaquin Sorolla) and it appears that I won't see my art that good in this lifetime. Maybe the next one.  His work is other-worldly. Definitely an inspiration to look at. 

Comment by Jessica Futerman on July 22, 2013 at 18:31

Hi everyone who is following this!  Some questions if anyone has time for this discussion!

I have been reading a little about Joaquin Sorolla whom Michael mentioned & the rule of the lights & darks, trying to understand it!  I need to work out (by observing outside) if that is what happens in reality, or if it's a method of painting to achieve unity & contrast etc. & to really bring out the light.  If I applied that in my painting for instance, would that mean that the white van (and actually almost everything on that side of the street) would need to be darker than the dark shape under the trolley (my darkest dark in the light)?  Or would I really limit the darks in the light areas (i.e. the dark shape under the trolley would not be as dark as I have painted it & as it really is in reality?)  To simplify, it means I would limit all the values in the light areas to the light tones & all the values in the dark areas to the dark tones?  But would that also apply to shaded areas within light areas such as the shadows under cars, trees etc. - are there exceptions within the dark & light masses???

Could the rule also be said like this - "the lightest thing in the shadows must be darker than the darkest thing in the light"? or am I misunderstanding it?!?  

If I applied that rule to this painting, I would need to make a lot of changes!  Maybe I should try it & see what happens!

Comment by Jessica Futerman on July 22, 2013 at 17:29

Ningning, thanks so much for your detailed & encouraging comments!  The shadow under the cable car is actually slightly smaller in the photo than I have painted it, but the other shadows on the shaded side are all invented - in the photo, the entire street is in the light (the sun was overhead)!  But I wanted to follow Richard's idea which is more dramatic, so  I have gone wrong with the shadows & light here & there & should make the trolley's shadow bigger - good point! 

Comment by Ningning Li on July 22, 2013 at 11:11

Jessica, I love your cable car. I think it is supper, very realistic with nice details.  I enjoy your sky warm to cooler and buildings cool shadow to bright warm light. Nicely down. The perportion of the size of cable car and other cars are very believable. well calculated.  I did not see the photo, maybe the shadow of the cable car can be a bit longer at its left. a menor thing.  The whole work is beautiful and very interesting. I love that red skirt and red shoes girl. so cute!

Comment by Silvana M Albano on July 22, 2013 at 7:30

We are all learning! At least I am... it is incredible how simple things seem to be when they are well explained. I will certainly try to apply the rule... which for me it will be Michael's rule! BTW, I see manyyyy light things in the darkness in my painting which are actually much lighter than the darkest parts in the light!!!! But I consider I have learnt sth new!

Comment by Jessica Futerman on July 22, 2013 at 7:11

Thanks very much, Liz!

Comment by Jessica Futerman on July 22, 2013 at 7:11

Thanks for the constructive criticism Michael - it's very helpful.  I see exactly what you mean about the white van.   For the same reason, the lady's white sweater is too bright.  Very good point!  So much to learn!  

Comment by Liz Cataldo on July 22, 2013 at 6:00

Great job!  Love the cable car!

 

 

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