Court Avenue Farmers Market, Des Moines
This artwork is part of my Downtown Des Moines series, one of my most popular themes. I worked from a photograph taken a few years ago. A sketch fleshes out the main shapes and I edit throughout the drawing because there are a lot of unnecessary details that will not contribute to the final composition.
What attracted my eye to this scene were the brightly colored building walls of bright yellow and blues. It accents the downtown building shapes and figures. The signs were interesting too, as well as the Porta Potty. It’s good to add some humor into your designs.
When beginning a collage, I usually have some colors in mind for the starting point and while I work other colors are added, usually complements. Because of the focus of the bright yellow and blue wall, I wanted some quieter colors surrounding it. The color I initially had for the sky changed a few times because it did not harmonize with the building colors. Also, my hand-painted collage papers are very textured and I did not want the texture to contrast with the pigment colors. The shapes of the tents were also interesting in the foreground.
The nice thing when working in collage is that you can easily adjust the value and temperature of the color by gluing another piece on top of it. In the past, I have reworked many pieces this way, after realizing my first choice was not doing the composition justice. The foreground figures add the people element. It is difficult cutting out these small pieces, but the end result beautifies the design. My downtown Des Moines, Iowa scenes include the capitol building, Polk County courthouse, rooftops, East Village and skywalk views. It is a challenge working in a series because every piece must be uniquely different yet be part of the whole unit of paintings.
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