Unfinished watercolour business
I’m starting this week where I left off last week, with another version of my Manchester tram. As I approached this version, I had a number of goals in mind:
- A more clearly defined focal point
- A greater sense of depth and recession
- To introduce some colour, where I’d previously focused on a more monochromatic version
- A looser interpretation of the buildings, yet with some suggestion of architectural detailing
Looking at these objectives, and at the painting, I think I achieved most of these things, albeit to varying degrees of success. I think that there are some really satisfying touches and moments, even if the overall result still leaves me a little cold. Here are my three versions of this scene for ease of comparison:
Despite my many misgivings, I feel that this latest version is sufficiently well resolved, and is the most successful of the three, which meant I was able to move my focus onto something else!
Next up, Brighton Marina
With the recent move into autumn, I’ve been mixing up my bike rides a little bit as some of the woods that I usually cycle in have become too muddy even for my taste!
One route I’ve been taking is the coastal path that runs along Brighton seafront to Rottingdean along what is known as the undercliff. It’s a lovely cycle (not just because it’s flat!) and, cycling East early in the morning, I’ve been treated to some wonderful early morning skies. When the mood has been upon me, I’ve sometimes stopped to take the odd photo. It was on reviewing these for the first time that I saw one in particular that took my fancy to try and paint.
On this particular occasion, it had been a cold and clear morning after a terribly stormy night. As I cycled along the undercliff at Brighton Marina, I was taken by a beautiful anvil cloud rising up in the distance with the boats in dry dock silhouetted against it in the bright morning light. It also just so happened that I had a quarter sheet all stretched and ready to go!
To be honest, although I liked the view, I didn’t hold out much hope in my ability to paint it, so I didn’t take any photos as I went along. While I regret this slightly now, I’m so pleased and relieved to have completed a painting that I feel happy with that I’m willing to overlook any lack of ‘work in progress photos’.
This is one of those rare occasions when I think that the painting is better than it looks in the photo! In the photo, the delicate soft blue of the sky is a little bleached out by the backlighting of the screen. I may try to photograph this again in the hope I can get a better rendition of it, but in the meantime, this will have to suffice.