I first painted this scene in Alvaro's class. I tried it twice in one day, and was dissatisfied both times. Still, the second was better and gave me hope.
After Alvaro's workshop was over, and I was exploring painting in 1/8 sheets, I did it two more times. My goal was to start really being able to capture light, better control over my values, and to have figures that looked, well... human, at the very least! ;)
I finally decided I wanted a more vertical format, since it was an alley and all. I painted this scene one last time. This was done a week after class. Much better, all in all! It's quite narrow, only 5" or so. 1/8 sheet, turned the other way.
I was actually relatively satisfied with this, but when I went back to the city a week after the class, I gravitated to them same spot. I sat in the shade, closer to my subject, deeper into the alley a bit, and got this. To me, this is the true "China Town"-- tight, urban spaces, intimate and lived in. I found the laundry hanging out so freeing-- very relaxed, no pretensions.