Should anyone ever need proof of my obsessive tendencies, then they need look no further than this post!
Here are the three A5 watercolour sketches that I posted last week.
As a reminder, my brief was to produce a scene featuring both Notre Dame and the Cafe Aux Tours de Notre Dame which is on an adjacent corner. I’d really enjoyed painting these sketches and felt that I had a good sense of what I was after when I came to work this view up a little larger.
The following images are all painted at quarter imperial size. Here was my first attempt at working these sketches up:
I was quite disappointed with how this turned out, which I felt was quite ‘muddy’ and overworked compared to the sketches. I certainly didn’t feel that after all the time and effort I’d invested so far, that this was a satisfactory end result. Nothing for it then but to try again! Here’s my next effort:
I was a lot happier with this effort. The focal point is much more clearly on the waiter, and there is a much greater sense of movement and life across the whole painting. There’s also a greater warmth to the Notre-Dame in the background. Finally, I felt I’d reached a conclusion that was I relatively happy with.
Just for comparison, below is the original painting I did of this view back in 2017, alongside my most recent effort:
At the back of my mind, as I’d been working on these paintings, I’d been wondering what this scene might look like given a more monochromatic treatment. I decided to limit myself to a palette of predominantly cobalt blue and burnt sienna – with the odd touch of colour here and there for the awnings.
As I’d now done a version that I was happy with, and this was more ‘just for fun’ – I really rattled through this one. There’s a lot I like about it, particularly Notre Dame in the background. It obviously conjures up a more wet and overcast day, which isn’t for everyone – but as an exercise, I quite like how it turned out.
I shared all three of these with my ‘commissioner’ – clearly stating which I felt was the most successful. Fortunately we were both in agreement so, in due course, this will be winging it’s way to America – hopefully to arrive in time a special occasion!
I must confess that looking at this post, and seeing such a plethora of variations of the same view… it’s like looking in a mirror and seeing my OCD tendencies reflected back at me!
Assuming I can tear myself away from producing endless variations of this motif, it will be nice to move on to something else!