One Way - Original Oil Painting of the City with Cars

"One Way"
8" x 10" oil on linen panel.
Available through

Terry Miura is an extremely talented artist who posted a painting challenge for his readers on his blog. He shared several tips with us on how to approach a complicated scene like this. You can read his tips by clicking here.

Once piece of advice he gave was in a post just prior to when he issued the challenge where he suggested linking all similar valued adjacent shapes in a painting. It's so easy to get caught up in the details of a scene like this one and making editing decisions becomes critical.

What is a value? A value, simply put, means how light or dark a shape is, it has nothing to do with the actual color just how light or dark the object is.

By linking all the adjacent shapes that are similar in value it makes the large pieces of the painting easy to spot. Once I identified those big shapes, I blocked them in. After the block-in stage it's easier to see where the painting needs detail and to start working on that.

I like to work from large shapes to smaller ones building detail as I go. Usually, little detail goes a long way. In this painting for instance, I didn't perfectly render each and every car. I added critical details to the cars in the foreground and let the rest be rectangular shapes. Because the foreground cars have taillights, are shaped like cars and are on a road your mind tells you they must be cars, the ones further down the road are shaped similarly so your mind fills in the rest and says that they must also be cars. In reality, the distant cars are rectangles with a line on the right and left and a shadow underneath and some are even more oddly shaped.

Constructing a painting using big shapes that are similar in value will absolutely make painting a complex scene much easier. If you would like to give this one a shot click here.


Erik van Elven said…
Beautiful painting Kim! And thanks for the info about constructing such a painting, very interesting read!
Brilliant painting Kim. It`s the first of it`s kind I`ve seen of yours.
A very scilled painting. All the best kim.

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