This is a technical article. If dissecting a painting takes away the fun of seeing one, this article is not for you. There are others that are non-technical and I encourage you to explore the blog to do so.
I’ve tried to paint this painting 4 times, vacillating between realism and abstraction. There are still less refined parts of the painting but it still works. I believe, there is a technical win in this painting that the dark shapes in the right 1/5th part of the painting connect and sometimes, to my delight, they connect outside the picture frame! I want to divert attention to temperature control however for rest of the article. The scene was of a series of rooftops set along a hill side and I was atop the famous bridge, Dom Luis on Douro River connecting Porto with Gaia. From this vantage point, the whole scene was set on such a sharp incline that it made it look like all buildings were in a a narrow focal plane. Of course, there was the play of bright roofs and their shadows but when you paint a small section of an entire view – so riveting as it was – you tend to lose distance. Distance had to be manipulated into the scene. The slide below shows how green – which is neutral color can help to cool in relation to orange. While the dense foliage seems like a large dark shape, if looked at closely (see the faded BW picture), it is interesting to notice that the darkest darks also make a connecting ring that keeps the viewers eye within a tight circle.