Lynn LaRose

When visiting our son who lives in Oceanside, California, my husband and I always make it a point to eat at The Daily News Cafe. The food is wonderful, the wait staff never changes and it's just a short walk to the beach.

Here is a photo I took on our last trip to the cafe while we were waiting to be seated.

For complicated compositions such as this, griding the canvas is the best way for me to make sure my drawing is correct and to scale. I grid the photo on my computer and use it for reference when drawing my subject.

Before I draw off the painting, I stain my canvas with oil paint diluted with mineral spirits. I used Cadmium Red Dark on this canvas. Once it dries (usually a day) I am ready to draw. Using vine charcoal is best as I can easily wife off mistakes using a tissue.

"Daybreak Diners" 20x10  Oil on Canvas Panel

Once I am satifsfied with the drawing, I spray the canvas lightly with workable fixative. Now I'm ready to paint.

I begin by laying in my darkest tones; the back lit figures, the walls of the restaurant. Before I start modeling the figures and objects, I paint in sections of the lightest lights for reference. (the light coming from the windows, reflections on the table.)

Basically I worked from the back to the front on this piece, staying loose and bringing more detail coming forward. I still may go back in and add some more lights to the foreground figure.