I'm working on a painting of San Francisco streets. I've been working on it lackadaisically for months, and need to force myself to do an hour a day now if I ever want to get it done. Which I do. Today as I walked to work in downtown SF, I looked up at the buildings which have been giving me a hard time in my painting. Because where does the light come from in a city? The buildings are tall and cause odd shadows. I'm painting off a photograph and cannot tell for the life of me where the light is coming from. The best I've got is 'overhead.' As the painter I'm pretty sure this was one of the first things I was supposed to figure out when I started this painting. But here I am 70% done and am trying to convince myself that the light is coming from...right above...right? Like an overcast, San Francisco, half-blocked by buildings kind of right above noontime light? I'm not finding myself particularly persuasive on this matter.
And one other question. Look down a street at a row of buildings. See how the windows and lines of the buildings angle down? IS THE LINE ON ONE BUILDING AT THE SAME ANGLE AS THE LINE ON THE BUILDING NEXT TO IT? Or is it ever so slightly off? Seeing as I didn't have a straight-edge with me on my commute, I kept stopping in the middle of crosswalks, one eye closed, holding my finger out in front of me, trying to figure out if the lines on different buildingsfell along the line of my finger. Tomorrow- I bring a ruler.