Roadside Graffiti

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I came across a photograph I took during my wanderings in Brooklyn. For a while I lived in Bay Ridge, near the Verrazano Bridge. I have endless numbers of pictures of oil tankers making their way under the bridge. For some reason, that fascinated me. Now, I can’t understand why I took so many of them.

I could be wrong, but Dyker Beach (or was it Dyker Park) was just across the Belt Parkway.  There was a nice overpass for walkers and cyclists to traverse, to get to the water. During my exploration I found some interesting markings alongside the on-ramp (or off-ramp) abutment. I have no idea what they meant, but it was an interesting sight.

I began my drawing in pencil and painted bands of color for the sky, a hint of the roadbed, the curb and the cobble stone sidewalk. I sketched the outline of the figure and the designs. Then I painted in the red of the figure’s robe. For most of the rest of the composition, I used my fine-tip pen to make outlines as well as scribbles for the graffiti. I dabbed a sponge into VanDyke brown to darken the look of the concrete wall. I then used white gouache to complete the spots, stars and other shapes on the figure and the writing behind the figure.

Watercolor: Graffiti on the Side of an On Ramp

Roadside Graffiti
4″x6″ 140# Mixed Media Paper

The canvas on which the graffiti was painted (the concrete abutment) was slightly rhomboid in shape, due to the slope of the ramp. I’m not sure if I captured this in the composition above, but it is clearly apparent in the photo below.

Photograph: Graffiti on the Side of an On Ramp

Roadside Graffiti – Reference Photo

Perhaps the figure is the Wizard of Getting On or Off the Belt Parkway Safely.

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