One of the most exciting places I’ve been is Gamla Stan, the old town section in Stockholm, Sweden. There are narrow walkways through five and six story buildings with quaint shops and restaurants. The royal palace is there, as well as the location where the Nobel Peace Prize is given. I have always loved the European sidewalk cafes. This one is right next to where the cruise ships dock and the tourists unload.
These tables were out in the sun. I was so impressed by the backlighting on the people that I wanted to portray it. The light made a halo effect on their hair and the edges of their clothing. There is an interesting effect if you look at the shirt of the standing woman. The sunlight makes a whitish-yellow edge, while the part in the shadow picks up the color of the sky. The same thing happens if you wear a white tee shirt and stand in the sun. The shadow side of anything white in the painting has the blue of the sky. The light in the man’s glasses and the shade of the background gives the effect of a very bright, sunny day.