Downtown Los Angeles from Bronson Canyon Park

I spent four days in Hollywood, in sight of the famous sign on a hill, learning the latest science about melanoma.

I had part of a day to spare.  I walked east.  The transient glitz and commercial bustle of Hollywood Boulevard rapidly becomes run down before changing to well-to-do neighbourhoods on the ascent above the city.  I ate a fat perfectly ripe avocado sandwich at the Trails Cafe, among mothers closing deals on their laptops as their toddlers played.

There was birdsong all around but I had chosen to walk light so no scope or binoculars, nor watercolours, only charcoal and a pocket sized sketchbook.  Rounding a bend on a high path with the Griffin Park Observatory above me, I suddenly glimpsed the city laid out below between a gap in the hills.   The city glowed, framed by the the silhouetted hills.  The white walls of the observatory gleamed against a darkening sky.

I did this painting tonight, back in the UK, from my charcoal sketch on site and from photos on my phone.

This was my first attempt at painting this scene.

I still think that I need to return to this painting and try again.  In brief … there is too much paint on the paper.   I want to pare this image down to the essentials.

16 responses to “Downtown Los Angeles from Bronson Canyon Park

  1. Honestly, I think the third painting is the best. The colors are great and it’s not too busy ( the first is). I really like it and I don’t usually go for landscapes.

  2. I honestly love these – I think you already know when to stop – don’t be too hard on yourself! I love the drama of the first one, with the dark edges, AND I love the dusky third one – to me they’re equally beautiful but it’s as if they were painted at different times of day!

    • Hi Hansi
      Here in the UK we imagine Hollywood to be a glamorous place and all we know of it is summed by those big letters on a hill. But its a real place with real people. I tried to capture that in a few words in my piece. I wasn’t disappointed, rather uplifted, to get a sense of the place. In some ways it was familiar, not alien.

  3. You’ve nailed the left hand side in both paintings. If you cropped the bottom one it would be a picture in itself. I’m scrolling from one to the other…. can’t decide which one would get my vote. As always there are stronger and weaker aspects to both. Too much paint? Didn’t realise there was such a thing! Hence my arduous tussles with water colour…

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