Thursday, 2 October 2008

Back in the Saddle

Buildings with Tyne Bridge (work in progress)

You'll have gathered from my previous post that the weather was not all it might have been in Mallorca. Four days of rain, in fact. It certainly reduced the time available to do any sketching, so the one sketch already posted is all there is.

I did, however, take a lot of photographs and what I find these days is that on holiday, my eye is constantly looking for something new, some new project to get me excited. The Vaporetto Series came about that way, and this time I think I've identified two unrelated subjects to bring something fresh to my work. I've started to play around with some of the photographs, but I'd rather wait until there's a definite direction showing before I post them here.

Meanwhile, back to the Art Club today. I'd decided to work on a new small painting based on a photograph taken on the same day, and from almost the same position on the Tyne Bridge as this one.

Last night I squared the canvas up and drew out the main structure. I don't always square up the photograph and transfer it, but I wanted to be able to get on with the painting and ensure that all the elements were in the right place. It's a complicated subject and the chances of getting things wrong were high, leading to a lot of scraping out, re-painting and so on. I don't object to doing that, and indeed, it often leads to a much more interesting and complex paint surface, but this is a small canvas and that kind of work can get fiddly.

Anyway, having drawn out the main composition in pencil, I sealed it under a coat of lemon yellow acrylic. Not a colour I would normally use - I'd usually go for burnt sienna or raw umber, or maybe a dark blue or magenta - but that was first to hand and I went with it. Once I got painting at the Club, the underpainting turned out to be a poor choice. It jarred with everything I laid down and by the time I'd reached the end of the first day's painting, I'd begun flicking small brushstrokes over the points of yellow still showing.

Still, I'm pleased with the way it's goimg. Apart from the fact that I've given myself the task of painting the Tyne Bridge again, I'm looking forward to resuming work on this one next week.

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