Thursday, December 26, 2013

Painting a Kansas City Icon - The Western Auto Building

A number of artists, painters and photographers, have depicted the iconic Western Auto building in Kansas City, and here's my take. I wasn't drawn to the sign, and that was my biggest challenge. The way the moring light flared off the top of the building was what grabbed my attention. The problem I faced was telling the story of the light without overwhelming the viewer with the enormity of the sign. I couldn't leave just leave it out. I had to find the perfect balance of color and value. After painting it 3 times, I realized that what set it properly within the painting was the way the light hit the supports behind the letters. These flares of orange and red played down the letters and complimented the bright orange of the top of the building.
Western Auto by Patrick Saunders (oil on board, 9"x17")