Watercolor #28 in 33 Years: China Town

by Pasadena Adjacent


Although the claim can be made that this is watercolor #28, I can’t claim it as a pleine air painting. This watercolor was modeled from a photograph I found on the Flickr China Town page. I tend to be hesitant when it comes to getting on Freeways other then the 210. Add my proclivity to being late, finding a parking space and my crew …. well, I opted out. Plus I felt kind of chicken shit about being in a crowd (on display) and dealing with the complexity of China Town’s architecture…Though experience has taught me most people aren’t curious about what we do – either that, or they’re too polite to interrupt us.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] Because my reference is a photo – the results are more likely to be technically better then anything I might make on site; especially concerning architecture. Because the photo was doing that pear bottom warp thing that digital cameras do, I ran the photo through photoshop and did a trace off that; to get those vertices in line. It was the traced B&W drawing in the video that I used as my reference. And to further confuse, I did NOT trace the trace onto the paper. Which allows a little bit of the quirk to show up. Such as how the building tilts to the left. There are some moments of dodging when it comes to the architecture – the bricks aren’t in perspective on the right side. You might notice that much of the right side is in shadow. More dodging. What I like most is the entrance to the center building. The rich browns of the dragon totem against that muted purple and green, then the figure emerging from an inky blue. It plays out like a jeweled vignette. And the sky came out nice too.