Monday, January 28, 2013

Street Scene Artist Creates 3D Through 2D

Artist Wayne Alexander Handley and one of his streetscapes.

PLATTSBURGH CITY - January 26, 2013

He starts with a base layer of light blue paint for the sky.

Then visual artist Wayne Alexander Handley adds more layers to the canvas for his recreation of a street scene.  With three buildings in a row, he creates a separate layer for each one, one layer overlapping the other.  This technique helps to bring an impression of three dimensionality to his work.

To complete a street scene Wayne adds fine details with a colored pencil or a pen.  Is the pen a special one for inking?  No, he finds that a Bic pen will do the job.

Wayne explained his technique to me during the opening of his exhibit at the ROTA Gallery Saturday evening.  His bright streetscapes with warm blue skies and white clouds provided relief from the frigid winter darkness outside.

While pursing a MFA degree in Fine Art and Education at Michigan Eastern University, he said, the emphasis with his study track was on human figures.  Later Wayne decided to take on a new challenge, landscape painting, trying to master the perspective demanded by such artwork.

His exhibit features streetscapes in various communities in Quebec and also American ones near the border.  After scouting and locating a scene, Wayne takes a reference photo so that he can return later to the same spot and set up his plein air studio: chair, easel and needed tools.

Sometimes people will stop and watch him paint, also enjoying the process of bringing a scene to life on a canvas.

Another part of Wayne's technique involves the use of masking tape to measure and isolate various areas of a scene, a trick he learned from airbrush art.  This helps him to bring out more dimensionality to his work.

His exhibit runs until February 11 at the ROTA Gallery at 50 Margaret Street.  ROTA is open daily from 12 noon to 5 PM, depending upon volunteer staffing.  More info about the gallery can be found at or by calling (518) 335-3994.

Artist Wayne Alexander Handley demonstrates with an imaginary strip of masking tape how he measures and marks out sections while working on a scene.

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