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Painting Bond Chapel – Exhibit at Bridgeport Art Center

by Leon Sarantos in New Exhibit

Creative Process 

My cityscapes aim to contrast the enduring beauty of the traditional Gothic Revival architecture of the University of Chicago to the vibrant diversity of its modern students.  I am both an architect and an artist, and am inspired by the beauty of the buildings surrounding the Main Quadrangle.  So, I often begin composing my paintings by taking pictures that focus on interesting architectural details, such as the pillars, and the design of the base of the chapel.

Pillar detail

Base of Chapel


Developing Perspective:  Preliminary Study

In painting Bond Chapel, there was a dynamic back and forth in which I experimented on editing digital photos and oil painting.  The next photo was a useful overview that I used to develop  the perspective for the painting’s composition. Using this digital photo and photo-editing software, I blocked out an outline of where to put the students in the composition.

Foreground study.  

Using the same procedure, I outlined where I wanted to place foreground figures.

Wash Sketches

Before beginning the oil painting, I did a couple of wash sketches so I could explore the color and composition.

Figures Sketch

In order to develop the figures more fully before painting them, I did a larger sketch of the two foreground figures.
Bond Chapel Completed Painting
The completed painting…

Bond Chapel Painting on Display – Vision Becomes Reality Exhibit

I will be exhibiting Bond Chapel as an invited guest artist with the Artists of EastBank at the Bridgeport Art Center.  The opening reception is on Friday, March  4th, from 6 to 10 PM.  The exhibit continues until Friday, March 25th and is at 1200 West 35th Street in Chicago.  The entrance and free parking are on the North side of the building off of Racine Avenue.  Hope you come and visit.
The focus of the exhibit is to see how each artist’s ideas and inspirations evolve into a finished work of art.