Auto Repair – Sans Graffiti

Today’s watercolor experiment:

In the 1990s there were many vintage buildings in Manhattan. On East 25th in particular, there were several buildings with interesting arches and curved roofs, that had been previously used as stables. I understand that this area may have been known as the ‘carriage district’.

The problem with street photography, particularly when trying to capture an entire building facade, is space. One cannot back up far enough to picture the entire building; the building across the street prevents one from doing so. Short lenses (28 mm, for example) help, but not that much.

The solution to this problem is to take a picture from an oblique angle and reconstruct it with a watercolor sketch. Alas, this is not a photographic solution, but it is a way to get a sense of the buildings that used to be standing in New York City not all that long ago.

Here is a photo of a carriage building that had been converted to an auto repair shop. I was across the street at a vantage point that allowed me to get a sense of the building as a whole. Nonetheless, it is not a very good portrait of the building.

Photograph: Converted Carriage House Used as Auto Repair Shop

Auto Repair Shop – Reference Photo

The photo does faithfully indicate the time of year, showing the icicles hanging from the wooden water tower.

I reconstructed the entire face of the building in watercolor based on this photo and photos of the individual archways.

Watercolor: Auto Repair Shop Converted from Carriage House

Auto Repair Shop – Sans Graffiti
4″x6″ 140# Mixed Media Paper

There was graffiti on the garage door and surrounding area, but I will show that another day in another experiment.

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