Back in September, I was delighted to receive an email via my website inquiring whether this painting was for sale:
I replied pretty much straight away to say thait yes, it was for sale but I just needed to locate it first. I have an accurate record of my sales and was 99% certain that I hadn’t sold this painting. Rather embarrassingly though, after searching high and low, I could find it and had no choice but to ‘fess up! I painted this view back
I asked whether it was this particular view, something similar or a view of Brighton that he was looking for. Depending on the view and any time pressures, I suggested that I may be able to paint something to meet his requirements on a ‘no commitment to buy’ basis.
It turns out that this gentleman used to live in the area and had a lot of memories of the place. He was particularly after something that featured Palmeira Square. The only other criteria were that it had to be a watercolour and would not exceed an unframed width of 25 inches.
Palmeira Square is about five minutes walk from where I live. I knew that I had quite a few photos that I’d taken of the square, with the intention of painting it one day, so set about going through my archives.
I eventually managed to find a view that I could visualise painting – even if I wasn’t quite sure how!
I sent this over for consideration and it got a thumbs-up, with the proviso that I should aim to omit any people, and the bus! What followed was brief exchange about different sizes and costs, as well as agreeing that anything I did would be my interpretation rather than a photo-realistic representation.
What I particularly liked about this image was the tonal range and the colour saturation. Although it’s quite contre-jour, if features some vivid, almost acid greens and some deep, rich darks that combined to give a wonderful sense of a bright afternoon. I also saw the potential for lots of different edges – some soft and diffused, some much more crisp and defined, as well as the opportunity for lots of different brushstrokes too.
Here’s how I got on:
It’s always a relief when you’re painting something on behalf of someone else when you can genuinely say that you are also pleased with the results! This final image was sent over, along with the two images below showing how it looked mounted and framed.
These two images are obviously far from studio quality but they were only intended to give an impression of how the painting looked from a distance. It’s always slightly nerve-wracking when you do the grand reveal as you really have no idea what the response might be!
It was to my delight then when I got a positive email in response:
Wow! It looks great. It’s even better than I’d anticipated and is perfect for what I had in mind.Happy recipient
This painting was sent mounted and arrived safely a few days ago. It was a painting that, after having spent a few days living with it before making some final adjustments, looked better in the flesh than in photographs. All the more pleasing then to get the following endorsement when the painting arrived:
Absolutely delighted with it. My girlfriend described it as “beautiful”. It is a very lovely piece. Extremely well done and, once again, many thanks.Happy recipient
After a decidedly embarrassing start – with me losing a painting! I was really pleased to be able to provide, in my opinion, a much better painting that I hope will serve as a happy reminder of time spent living here for a long time to come.
Alvaro Castagnet online workshop
My online workshop with Alvaro Castagnet is this Saturday from 10am-1pm GMT. When I first mentioned that I’d booked this workshop, I said that I hoped to be able to do a ‘pre-workshop’ take on the subject we’ll be working from on Saturday, the plan being that I can do a before and after workshop comparison.
Here’s the reference photo that has been supplied in advance which we’ll be working from in some shape or form:
And here’s my quick take on this view. It took me quite a while a sketch this out which was frustrating. Most of it was fine but I really struggled to get the car figured out! Based on this experience, I could waste half the workshop just trying to figure out the drawing!
You’ll see that I’m made some minor adjustments to the original photo, mainly with the addition of some figures to add a little more interest. I was quite pleased with how some of this turned out, particularly the simplification of some of the shapes and the overall sense of light and shade across the painting.
I wasn’t sure whether I was going to get around to doing this or not but, having now done this, I’m really excited about Saturday’s workshop. All I need to do now is to figure out how to set up my easel and assorted paraphernalia within easy view of my computer! I look forward, with a degree of nervous trepidation, to sharing my experience with you next week!