Saturday, 21 July 2012

Brighton Pier Flagpole painting

A couple of days ago - Thursday, in fact - I finished another painting, the one I mentioned at the bottom of my last post.

I decided not to paint the sky all the same shade of blue but stuck with the three bands of colour and kept reworking over the transitions from one shade to another until they blended enough that I was happy with it.

At the last class I'd taken the painting with me to show Kim, the tutor, and to ask for her advice on this particular aspect.  She suggested that I get a Da Vinci pastel brush which is, apparently, like a stencilling brush but less flat on the top and softer.  I should then put some colour on the dry brush, then immediately wipe most of it off onto a cloth.  Then gently use a circular motion over the transitional areas until I get the level of blending that I want.  We looked up the price of Da Vinci pastel brushes online during the class and they were really quite pricey, so I said I already had a couple of stencilling brushes at home and I'd have a go with them first.

So that's what I did and it worked a treat!  Took a lot of circular 'scrubbing' with the brush and made my right shoulder ache like a bastard, and I spent far more time working on this aspect of the painting than any other but I wanted to get it right.  It's not perfect but I'm happy with it.

The next difficulty I had with the painting - although 'difficulty' is a bit strong - is that the building, in reality, is all white, so that meant painting white onto white canvas board, as well as several different shades of grey.  The greys were easy enough to see, but painting white onto white was interesting - the only way I could see where I'd been was to tilt the picture into the light so I could see which parts were shiny from being damp with the acrylic paint.

Anyway, as before, I took a series of photos as I was working on the painting - I find this works as well as standing back to look at it plus it gives me a progress record.  To remind you, this is the photo that I took:

This is the sketch onto the canvas board:

Here I've blocked in the three shades of blue - a pale, sea green colour at the bottom, a more turquoisey sky-blue in the middle, and a darker blue at the top.  I could have used masking fluid to mask off the long thin flagpole itself, as well as the flag, but decided to just be careful:

I decided to start putting in the details of the Union Jack, just to have a break from working in blue:

Then I realised that the white bits on the flag are, in actuality, shades of pale blue-grey because they were mostly in shade, so I was back to working with the blue again!  In the next picture, I've finished the flag, painted the silvery-gold knobble on the top of the flagpole, started painting the flagpole itself as well as starting with some of the grey shading on the building, and also finished blending the transitional blue bits with the stencilling brush:

In this picture I've done more work to the building:

And this is it finally finished off, with all the dark shadows and highlights:

I'm pretty pleased with it, there are some things that aren't quite right but I don't think they're obvious to the casual observer, so now it's time to find the next subject.....


Susan said...

I think it is amazing; you should be really proud of yourself!

livesbythewoods said...

That is BRILLIANT. Love it.