Civic Center Big Air off to Venice

Beach, California that is...given as a gift to one of the head engineers on the Big Air project from 2011. I was contacted by the family of the artist with a great proposal, to give this painting as a birthday gift to the one and only Dave McKay. You can see Dave in the Hot Wheels double loop video above, talking about some of the awesome specifics of his daily routine. A real honor to have met Dave, and to have seen his work in the flesh, not to mention get a chance to paint one of his creations. Dave also was involved with the Felix Baumgartner space drop, and surely many other amazing projects I have no knowledge of. 
This particular painting began en plein air, and finished in studio from memory and on location photo reference. Above is the progress from the field, 3 hours working time, and the studio finish which I spent close to 5 hours to finish the painting. Boosting contrast in the values, pushing and pulling the edges, also using a large flat and small filbert to lay in an indication of the elaborate rigging and scaffolding. I eliminated a few elements from the field painting as I saw ways to enhance the composition once in studio. I also added a foreground cast shadow to push the contrast to the focus of the painting, the bright light hitting the ramp entrance high in the sky above the downtown Denver backdrop.

It is a real pleasure to go out in the field to paint, you never know what might happen.

(Photo of progress by Dave McKay)

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