Putting the Custom back in Customer - Part 3 of 6 / by VH McKenzie

Next up in the commission series - this daunting landscape of a small city in Italy. Anyone recognize it? It reminds me of Florence but I don't see that iconic dome or any sign of the Arno River. 

My client decided that this photo would be another of the 3 to be recreated in black and white, no watercolor. First, I de-saturated the image so I wouldn't be distracted by the color and applied a grid to the picture. As before, this helps me digest the scene in smaller bites and keep the proportions in order.


I used photoshop to tweak the levels of dark to light, this helped me see more detail by exaggerating the lights and darks.

I again applied a light pencil grid to my paper and dove right in. 


Here's a close-up:




Last step, applying layers of ink, thinned with water, to create volume. Here's the final image, cropped to 9"x12." There wasn't a singular focal point in the original photo, it was rather flat, so it was a challenge. Still, I think the end result is lively and interesting. What do you think?



Next up, the Italian country side in living color……..