I took photos for this picture 4 years ago. I also made an oil sketch at the same time. The scene is along the river outside Union Station in Chicago on a nice summer day. The large reddish object in the background is part of the Adams St. bridge abutment. The river is “off-stage” to the right.
I’ve tried to paint this picture, but it has never worked out. This version is done using the Procreate drawing app on my iPad. This approach works great for setting up the picture because I can use as many layers as I need to place objects from separate photos where I want them. This is a very preliminary block-in, with a lot to do to get the “character’s attitudes right and get them situated. Right now they’re floating in the space and need to be “brought down to earth.”
I’m not sure why I’m interested in doing this picture in the first place. If I had to say why, though, it’s something about the space and all the different directions people are going in. Plus I was immediately attracted to the guy in the red shirt and his unusual posture.
Here are the reference photos and oil sketch:
I deliberately took the photos with my phone so I wouldn’t get too hung-up copying the photos, but just have them for shapes and color.
Here’s a map in case you want to check out the spot: