Regular readers will know of my affection for Brighton’s train station and my various attempts to portray it. I think this affection was the starting point for some recent picture research where I was looking for atmospheric images of train stations. I can’t remember if I was also looking specifically for black and white photos but that’s what I seemed to end up with.

Train station 1

One of these reference photos was the basis for this week’s painting. I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything more about the image but it’s fair to say it’s from a bygone era!

Here’s how I got on:

Watercolour painting of a train station from bygone times by artist John Haywood
Bygone era train station

My main aim at the outset of this was to employ some expressive and energetic brushstrokes. What particularly attracted me to the original image was the contrast, the light, and that I could see such a great array of potential ‘edges’, some sharp and defined to some more soft and lost and found.

I enjoyed painting this and like many areas of it – the top half in particular – but I was also disappointed that I’d messed up much of the perspective, especially in the foreground.

As I’d enjoyed painting it so much but wasn’t happy with this effort, I couldn’t resist having another go. I wanted to correct my errors – and also to try to employ an even more monochromatic palette. In the first painting, I started off with a wash of raw sienna to which I added cobalt blue.

Train station two

In the first painting, I started off with a wash of raw sienna to which I added cobalt blue. For this second painting, my palette was mainly french ultramarine, cobalt blue, light red and burnt sienna. I did also use some neutral tint, some lavender and, right at the end, some titanium white.

Watercolour painting of a train station from a bygone era by artist John Haywood
Bygone era train station

I was quite pleased with how this one turned out and was pleased to be able to right at least some of the wrongs in my first attempt. Again, I was trying as much as possible to hold my brushes high up the handle to encourage looser and more expressive brushstrokes. I was also constantly trying to keep an eye on the various tones in the painting that are so crucial in achieving the sense of perspective and distance.

Rottingdean beach huts two

Last week I was celebrating the sale of my painting ‘Beach life – Rottingdean style’ beach scene to one of the beach hut owners.

Well I’m delighted to be able to report that the co-owner of the beach hut who, on seeing my painting asked whether I could do another one, liked one of my subsequent offerings and has bought it. It’s already been mounted, framed and delivered!

It was also nice to be able to offer the buyer the opportunity to provide their own title for the painting:

Watercolour painting of the Beach Huts at Rottingdean by artist John Haywood
Beach Hut Oasis, Rottingdean

When I painted this view, along with another similar view albeit from a slightly different angle, I was at pains not to refer back to the painting that I had already sold.

My aim was not to copy the painting that I had sold, but to return to my references and paint the scene again, as best as possible from afresh. This is why – even now – I don’t want to view the two paintings side by side!

13 thoughts on “Train station watercolour paintings

  1. A great set of paintings; love the contrast between the light and dark. I particularly like Beach Hut Oasis, Rottingdean. I have shared this painting with the appropriate link to your site; scheduled for Friday. Best Regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice paintings. European rail stations are amazing. Since they arrived they’ve been the subject of painters, with great effect. Hard to imagine these huge airport terminals being any inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha – yes, I quite agree – although there’s part of me that will now be looking out for airport terminals to see if I can make anything of them – especially when we’re eventually allowed to travel a little more freely! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!

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    1. Thanks Carole – I’m fully expecting my recent roll to come to an abrupt halt but it’s been nice while it lasted!
      Sorry about the messages not appearing immediately. After you press send, they all come to me to review them before I publish them. It helps me to filter out some of the spam emails and helps me to make sure I reply to every comment as best I can! Thanks again Carole – all best wishes

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  3. I really like the perspective and feeling of the second attempt, very noir. Not sure if I wrote that correctly, seems awkward but you get my drift. Congratulations on your sale and painting a scene from your own photos and memories should be alright in my opinion. Have a wonderful rest of the week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Margaret – so pleased you like that second one and I think your ‘noir’ description fits it perfectly! Feels like it’s been a busy and productive couple of weeks all in all. Hope your week is going well!

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