I met Tom earlier this year when he acquired 2 original pieces off of Etsy.com. Tom & his wife live outside of Detroit & he had never seen the pieces in person but decided to take the small risk & invest in them anyways. I assured him they were cooler in person & he later confirmed that when we talked over the phone. It was just a few months later when he decided he wanted a custom piece of his own. We discussed composition, color, size, and some other details over the phone & then I started sketching. I first completed these small thumbnails trying to hammer out the general composition then decided on one to make the larger sketch above. Where they live there is a main rain that goes all the way to downtown Detroit. I thought it would be cool to try and connect that road to their driveway in the painting. Tom was also drawn to some of my crazier, more surreal landscapes so I obviously took that in mind when planning this landscape.
The first layers, just generally blocking out the main colors
It definitely took some fine tuning to make sure the curve on the road was a super smooth transition into the driveway
It takes several layers of colors to ensure the main gradients are rich in color & have really smooth gradients.
Blocking out the main house form white titanium white. Building it up with titanium white first helps unify the final form once the other colors & details are added in.
Starting to block out the details in the tree
Masking off the painting to start putting in the texture & deeper gradients in the roads. I use a combination of artists acrylic based spray paints as well as the “toothbrush” technique for splattered acrylic on the canvas.
Quite a few steps forward, starting to put in the final details in the skyline, house & tree
One last masking layer to really make those gradients rich in contrast & texture. You can see I don’t get too scientific with how I weigh the paper down, coins, paint brushes, paint tubes, plates..
I was super psyched with the way this painting turned out and although it is on the more surreal side, there is quite a bit of this thing that is fairly accurate, the approximate distance from the house to the skyline, its proximity to the main road that leads into Detroit. The skyline direction is fairly accurate as their house is slightly northwest of the city, that tree is generally right about there in their front yard. All in all this was a super fun project to work on & I have to give Tom a huge thank for his patience in allowing me to slowly work on it over the course of a few months.