My most recent commission came from my cousin. She asked if I would paint the Brooklyn Bridge, as she wanted to give it as a gift to her niece, who had gotten engaged on the Bridge. I knew I was going to be busy with work and various other things, but I was excited (and daunted) to take this one on, as it was an exciting subject.
I decided to go for a night scene, as I was attracted to the bright lights and thought this would be a ‘safer’ option in terms of colours that might go with home interiors.
My next decision was choosing which medium to use – oils or charcoal/chalks? I started in charcoal, but I didn’t feel I’d get the effect of the lights, so I opted for oils in the end. I sketched out the general proportions and outline of the main features and covered the canvas in a dark wash, removing highlight areas with turps and a rag.
This time I took photos at various stages, and it’s been really interesting looking back at the different focus phases, going from the bridge structure on the left, through to the detail of the buildings in the skyline, and then onto the reflections in the water (which was the most challenging part!).
I would definitely chart progress like this again as I found it to be a real motivator to remind me of how far the painting was coming along and how it was starting to take shape. The painting took around 6 months from start to finish, as I was only able to work on it in the evenings and weekends, and also based on the level of detail in the skyline.
I finally finished it in early October, and it has now been handed over. This is the finished piece, and I am really happy with it! Happy Engagement!