Final Painting – Finishing off

Ok, for better or worse, here’s the finished painting of the Golden Gate Bridge:

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Here’s a side-by-side with the previous stage, so I can describe the changes:

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So first of all, I still wasn’t quite happy with the sky, so I worked on that some more, making it even brighter, and emphasising the warm glow of the sunrise.

Once that was fixed to my satisfaction, I finished detailing the bridge, adding the final highlights on the left of the bridge itself, and an indication of the vertical cables against the sky on the right. For those I just used a slightly darker version of the sky colour, as they shouldn’t stand out at all. They’re just an indication of what is there, and your brain does the rest.

I then worked on the detail of the mid-ground landscape. Looking at it now, I think I may have gone a bit too detailed and it’s ended up looking a bit messy. That’s something I need to work on – simplify everything!

I added some reflections I had missed in the water, below the rocks on the left, each piece of land jutting out, and below the far bridge tower.

Finally I added some detail in the foreground, with the bush on the right, and some warmer areas where the light is hitting the ground closest to us.

I’ve signed it, and I’m calling it finished for now, unless I spot anything that needs fixing in the next few days.

Overall, I’m reasonably pleased with how this turned out. I know the notan and value studies I did initially helped a lot with getting the final painting right, so that’s something I’ll be trying to do a lot more of in future.

Let me know what you think, and if you have any more questions about the process, just leave a comment below.






  1. Emma Avatar

    This is beautiful! I am learning a lot about perspective from your posts – and love the notan sketches. Keep writing!

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