The Yaquina Bay Bridge, better and more informally known as the Newport Bridge, is one of the most photographed and painted objects on the Oregon coast. It’s a little daunting to add yet another painting to the stack. But it’s such a beautiful bridge that I just couldn’t resist.
This is the view of the bridge from the south side of bay standing on the ground looking up. Anyone who knows the area well will see immediately that I took major liberties with the landscape. I’ve placed tree covered hills in the foreground, where there is really a grassy flat area often used as an impromptu parking lot. My reference photo throws the parking lot and the bridge into silhouette against the late afternoon sky. Trees broke up the flat horizon. I expanded the treeline into undulating hills.
What I did not remove from the photo was the scaffolding. Somehow whenever I visit the bridge there is scaffolding somewhere in the picture. And with the light behind it, I found the scaffolding as beautiful as the bridge.
After transferring my sketch of the bridge to the paper, I began by painting the sky. I worked wet into wet beginning at the top with a combination of cobalt blue and cerulean Blue. Moving down the paper I added burnt sienna to the two blues to create the grays of the upper cloud masses. Then I dropped in dioxzine purple on the undersides and the dark areas of the clouds. I grayed the violet a hair and added some cobalt to it and washed in the lower cloud bank. Grayed cobalt brought the clouds to the horizon. The bay itself is grayed down cerulean.
The bridge is various dark combinations of burnt sienna, cobalt blue, french ultramarine, and dioxazine purple. The hills are are wet into wet layers of various mixes of the bridge colors plus cerulean blue and raw sienna.
When I finished the painting I was puzzeled about where to sign it. In the end, I signed the painting in removable liquid mask. The mask has a tendency to lift paint thus leaving a quiet signature behind when I removed it.
This painting is currently available on-line through my Etsy shop. Prints available on inquiry.