I had no idea that Dieppe was going to prove to be so richly enjoyable and rewarding as a subject!
Now I know that this is only my second painting of Dieppe but the two have already become amongst my favourites of late!
If the story of my painting is one of two steps forward and one step backward, then these recent paintings definitely feel like the ones going forward! The subject of this one is the same square as my last painting, but this time looking in a different direction.
It’s a much more complex scene in many ways, but I was keen to try to carry into this painting as much of the approach and attitude of my previous painting as possible. What this meant in practice was to start out with only the briefest of sketches and then, once with brush in hand, to work fast and wet, with lots of mixing of pigments on the paper. This was followed by lots of rather frantic skipping around the painting trying to make sure that I’d done everything that I needed to do whilst the washes were wet.
Once I’d reached this stage, I was able to stop, take a breath and take stock a little. From this point it was a case of building up the details but trying to keep it loose, working quickly and trying to hold the brush – always slightly larger than what feels appropriate for whatever I’m tackling – as high up the handle as possible. Then it was a case to trying to refrain from overworking and getting too caught up in any details.
I’m also enjoying how quickly these paintings come together, and how there’s something of the energy of the painting process that is still discernible in the finished work.
Naturally after these two steps forward, I’m fully expecting a step backwards with my next effort! Hey-ho – all the more reason to make sure we celebrate any successes!