Thursday 24 March 2016

London Street Scene demo

I often demonstrate at Art Societies and usually complete two paintings during a 2 hour demo, however, I get so carried away with the painting process that I never remember to take photos, but on this occasion Terry used my iPad and remembered to take a few as I was painting.

This first photo gives you an idea of the initial stages in the painting process, I have applied masking fluid onto the dry paper on the brightest areas, once this is dry, I then begin by flooding in wet into wet washes over the entire page, this gets rid of all the white paper.

I would never paint watercolour upright like this at home, I would paint either completely flat or on a slight slope, but I often paint upright when demonstrating so that an audience can watch the process. It means I have to work quickly, control the paint and fight against gravity! It certainly keeps me on my toes!

Once this first stage is dry I then begin overlaying my next blocks of wet into wet colour, allowing the colours to meet and merge as I go along.

This gives you a better idea of how its all looking at this stage. I avoid any details, its just a question of placing the distant dark areas and leaving all the light ones, (which is the first wash I already applied).
There is a natural place to start from in the distance so when I add the right side of the street,  this will appear darker and closer.

The right side of the street goes in next which also includes parked cars. I really like the way light falls on cars on a street.... I know, how strange, but the clutter of a street scene is such a challenge and the finished result would not look half as nice if the cars were not there.
I love these figures crossing the street, they give the painting a real feeling of movement.

This is my painting before the masking is removed and the final tonal adjustments made. Its quite a lot to get through in an hour, especially as I let the audience know what colours I am using and why I choose to do what I do, as I go along.
I do however use a hair dryer, this speeds things up a bit of course.

The darks then go in, then  just prior to the coffee break the masking is removed  and voila! this is the finished result.  I can now relax, enjoy a chat with the audience and answer any questions before beginning my second painting in part two.

One of my favourite colours is 'shadow' this is the colour I use to create all those lovely darks. Its a gorgeous aubergine sort of colour - really sumptuous.
If you want less of an aubergine colour and warmer then 'burnt shadow' is also fab, it flocculates and creates some lovely textural interest.

I have used Bockingford 140lb watercolour paper (brilliant if you intend to use masking fluid, because it rubs off really easily)

If you look in my gallery you will see this painting in a cropped version, I decided to concentrate on the lower section for more impact and painted it on a canvas.

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