Painting a market
I start by splashing down colour on to the canvas to plot the composition. I also change brushes to build up textures that can be picked out later. I decide that I want coloured flags and awnings to form the centre of the painting and help to lead the eye from foreground to background, and sketch this out using the Lasso tool, adding a dark frame to suggest a shadowed interior. When defining a stall I tackle texture first before detail, to try and emulate the sensory overload of being in a marketplace. Contrast is another way to add this kind of visual interest: I use a Soft brush at 100 per cent white for the main lighting, intersected and framed by hard dark edges and linear patterns. I emphasise my lighting choices by depicting reflective materials. Using a high Opacity brush, I block out the scene further. Strong, hard lines are essential at this stage if you started a painting without a tight sketch: they help to solidify the perspective of the scene. I decide that I want to use a bright noon sun that will enable me to create heavy saturated shadows along the floor, contrasted by the soft glow of a lamp store. I add detail to the scene, introducing a figure and building on existing textures and defining the shape of the background stalls. I add directional repetitive patterns to keep the eye moving around the canvas, contrasting soft, circular shapes with hard lines. Finally I use a Soft wide brush (set to Linear Dodge) in a saturated warm colour to enhance the existing lighting.
Use repeating directional patterns to lead the eye of the viewer through your scene. Loosen up your brushstrokes to keep your scene lively and dynamic. Manually control the saturation of your paint using the HSB sliders (press F6 in Photoshop) to keep the colour of your lighting fresh and vivid.