Revisiting Haiku Corner, with whole process!steemCreated with Sketch.

in #art2 years ago (edited)

Haiku Corner

Haiku Corner is a Myers and Chang restaurant in Boston, MA. A friend of mine took a photo that I really liked and I loved everything about it so much that I decided to paint it! You can check out my initial post about this in an older post of mine.

I was feeling experimental with this one, so I used 9x12” sheet of Masonite instead of canvas. Gessoed it and sanded it down. Then I sketched with thinned burnt umber paint, and finished the rest with oils. I also tried using walnut oil. I thought it’d help spread the paint around but it wasn’t very helpful on the Masonite boards, which absorbed a lot of the oils.


These process shots are newly recovered! I thought I had lost them, so these have never been shown anywhere else before. I think this really shows my method of drawing in color, and refining the drawing while painting, so I am happy to be able to share these with you all now.


Here is the first pass, when I thinned out some black paint with a little titanium white, and sketched the rough drawing. I used masonite, which is incredibly porous. I had painting it with a gesso ground, and sanded it, but that doesn't stop the oils and thinner from being absorbed very quickly. It kind of reminds me of painting with acrylics, because of the fast drying time.


On the second pass, I added some colors and some grays to begin to fill out some of the details. I worked on the color of the vinyl chairs and worked out some of the white areas.


I worked on the darks again, describing each of the people and the lighting and some other details. I had trouble getting that table on the left at the correct angle.


Then, I worked on some of the finer details in color. The reds on the counter, some of the bluer tones, and evening out the dark areas. The background is starting to take more shape here, and the spherical light fixtures are coming together as well.


Here I did some more work on the people. That guy on the left lost some weight. The folks in the back are a lot clearer, too. The lighting fixtures are better described, and so are the items on the counter.


I spent a lot of time working on those chairs to the left. I think it had to do with lens distortion.


The items on the table to the left are clearer here, as are the items on the counter. You can't yet see that glass on the counter that I like so much in the final piece.


The line in the mirror, between the two sheets of glass, was also difficult, but you can see that I straightened it out. Sometimes I'm not sure what I'm painting in the first pass, as I'm a bit blinded by all the details, and I'm just painting light and dark.


Here you can see that the items on the counter are much more detailed, and I worked out a lot of the information in the mirror on the back wall. Half of this painting is a reflection, which I think adds a lot to the depth and perspective.


I'm not going to lie, I'm not 100% sure I have all of these in the right order! It's a little hard to tell. I tried!


What you can't see here is that I was experimenting on this painting with using walnut oil instead of my usual OMS (oderless mineral spirits) as a thinner. I only really used it on the orange chairs to the right.


I didn't like how long it extended the drying time, despite the quick absorption of the masonite. So that's the only area that has a bit more sheen than the rest. I think it helps show that the chairs are vinyl.


Close Ups

And here are some of the close ups of my favorite parts.


This last one shows my friend, John, taking the photo!


I hope you enjoyed this post, I was happy to recover these process pictures and show you my method. Let me know in the comments of your thoughts!



@dbennett what a tedious process to complete this drawing. If I paint, sure a disaster. And the result was amazing, it look like a zoom in photo. And you have taken care of the details in the photo. Oh yes, I love the chairs and balloons. I like how you draw it with the reflection from the light, the shadow as well. I salute you on how you could recover when you spread the oil which not as your expectation.
I still remembered you told me in one of your post that you hope one day you would be able to draw from life. Please be assure that, you definitely can do it by the look of your work. I love this drawing of yours as much as "Coming Into Focus" painting which I saw.

Thank you! Yes, I could paint from life but I’m so slow. Hope to speed up enough to make faster progress outside. Thanks again!

@dbennett, don't worry about the speed, the result sure as pretty as how you painted from photo :) If you paint from life, you normally need how long to paint?

I take 10-80 hours per painting :/

Your painting is good @dbennett! I seriously thought they were actual photos. I love the colours and the level of detail you put into the painting is amazing. They do give a sense of realism to the painting. The thing that catches my eye most are the glasses on the table and the hanging light at the counter. Thank you for sharing with us your art :)

Thanks, @marblely!

Thank you!

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Beautiful post, Darren :) The step by step is really well explained !! Love the accompanying text throughout and the photos really showed every inch of the progress :D Im glad you recovered these shots, somehow :D

I love how you captured the muted lighting in the restaurants, and the reflections on the mirrors/glass is amazing! They are my favourite parts :D

Wonderful painting <3

Thank you so much! I was very happy to find that Photoshop PSD file with all the original images!

Hi dbennett,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

I love you guys! Thank you so much!

Cool I like this water color art :) day I try make also water color art :)
I hope you also like B7W art too :) And Hi from Estonia :)

You know what I lo e most about your paintings? Its how you pay attention to all those little details. It sure gives more life to your painting

I do love those (ballons?) Hanging up too, that place must be so much fun!

Great painting...

This is what I enjoy most about paintings and painting in general- the illusion of reality from a dab of paint.

Yeah, its always an amazing view for me (and an amazing process for you, ofcourse)

The reference was quite complicated I guess?
But you painted it so nicely!
Great work of art Darren!
By the way, congratulations on @curie upvote!

The reference was a Facebook photo! I'm not even sure I printed it. I think I just worked from my iPhone screen.

Oh really?
That's awesome man!
Seldom people paint on iPhone because its kinda small but you did it, fantastic!
You're using the latest iPhone?

I have the 6 plus, so the screen is a bit bigger.

That's kinda bigger though.
Anyways, you also do artwork on actual painting, I mean using those real materials doing arts?
I guess you also do that hands on - none gadget art so to speak.

Yes, I use all real materials. I sit at a computer all day. The last thing I want to do is stare at a screen making art. I always have an urge to create, whether it is art, or making furniture, or anything else with my hands.

Oh that's pretty great man!
You can work and live anywhere if you want to I guess.
You have the skills and abilities.
I wish you all the best in life.
Are you married?

I wish I could! I'm really trying hard to build my art business so I can get away from the 9-5 life. I'm hoping Steemit helps me get some exposure.

And I'm not married, officially, but I've been blessed by a wonderful relationship for nearly 20 years.

I wouldn't have thought that this was a drawing from the first image alone, very realistic. Haven't drawn with masonite before, I looked it up to know the word in Arabic. though I mostly use my pen and any paper I get my hands on to draw.

Masonite is a type of pressed paper board. It has a smooth, stiff surface. I had convinced myself once that the movement and texture of canvas was distracting. Now, I appreciate the texture, and am not bothered by the movement. I find it’s not worth the trouble using masonite.

The finished painting looks really nice especially those green and red chairs that you painted.
Congratulations for your curie vote ^_^.

Process posts are awesome, it was fun watching this developing from essentially blobs of colour into WOW LOOK AT THAT at the end :)

You know, I think this was the first time I ever recorded the process!

It is fun to see the progress of your painting from those in-between photos. I really liked it when I got to the last photo with the bright red chairs. I felt the color gave more life to the photo.

I know it may not be the same as your base photo already but I wonder if it is possible to put something bright on the lower portion, between the red and green chairs. I just thought that portion looks dark and dull so maybe something else can fit in there. Just my two-cent thoughts.... 😊

Thanks! Someone else commented that they wanted to see something in that area too. But, there's nothing in the photo, so I don't know what to put there!

How about a table for one at the far end of the wall? Like a table and just one chair. And make the yellow chairs more to the neon shade to make them brighter? Again, just my two cents thoughts...

That could work. It's already varnished, so it is what it is. Thanks for the ideas!

Oh, I see. Yeah, that certainly is okay as it is. 👍

outstanding and incredible content ... that defines your post.

Really incredible ... I'm speechless because at times I thought it was a photograph and it turns out that it was still painting. I really loved it. congrats

That's so kind of you! I'm glad you enjoy it.

very well done the piece, good work @dbennett , I like very much this painting that the catalogaria as impressionist, is very well the points of light and the point of escape, this reminds me of something that is also a headache, paint on glass, the drying process is a bit tedious. but in your case I think it was worth waiting the prudent time for drying.

I never thought you'd use a Masonite instead of canvas.

the reflections are brutal, it looks like a photograph. the glasses look real. very good piece.

It costs a lot the Masonite? you would use again another sheet to paint.

thank you for sharing your creation.

greetings, peace and love

Thanks man. The masonite isn’t expensive. I think I prefer canvas now.

The're so much detail on this and it feels like a lot of things are going on this picture. I like how you framed this piece as an experiment. Art is really about experimentation.

That’s so true. Thanks for commenting!

I thought that the first photo was your reference. Your painting looks so real! You put everything in right perspective and I can imagine sitting at the table on the left with green chairs. I'm not so much into sitting at the bar :)

Do you mean that you used walnut oil to mix in the paint? I'm sorry, I don't know much about painting so this might be a silly question. Also, what kind of oil do you usually use?

Thank you for sharing!

Thanks, yes, I put oil into the paint to thin it, but I usually use odorless mineral spirits.

Great post! You nailed this painting and the explanation of the process. Congratulations on the curie vote!

Thanks! So much to learn still.

Wow you did a wonderful painting, so much so that it looks like a picture even as perfect as the real picture. I loved the way you wrote is post explaining the process, Congratulations for your curie vote, well deserved, a big hug @dbennett

You’re so nice! I really enjoy this painting.

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