Stephen Magsig’s unpopulated city scenes are alive with people who may have just passed by or stepped into a shop. He uses the built environment as a set to examine and portray the interplay of light and shadow, undistracted.
Working from photographs, he has taken over the years as well as from plein air studies, he uses a grid to enlarge the image to canvases as large as 5 by 4 feet. The plein air studies, he says, “keep the color honest.” The grid helps keep things straight and corrects for his astigmatism. Magsig’s underpainting is begun with thin paint rather than a pencil drawing allowing him to maintain spontaneity through the process.
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