Sunday, 3 June 2012

Peggy’s Neighbours

Peggy’s Neighbours
Watercolour on Paper
34cm x 24cm (13.5" x 9.5")

These are the buildings just to the right of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni) on the Grand Canal in Venice.

This is another picture in which I’ve used a design idea from John Lovett’s Studio Workshop post as a starting point.

The objective was to make a strong focal point from a uniform façade.

I used thumbnail sketches to reorganise the elements of the picture to create a focal point around the boats and the base of the pink building.

Peggy’s Neighbours - Thumbnail Sketches

I wanted to paint the picture in a loose style. With this in mind, I applied the first few washes with a 1-inch bristle decorating brush.

I am quite accurate with a half-inch brush, but this 1-inch brush is just too big and bushy for me to apply paint precisely.

It may seem obvious, but I am only just realising that for a loosely painted picture to work, the background usually has to be the loosest part of the whole painting.

An additional benefit of the large brush is if the initial paint marks are unfussy, I am less inclined to paint the details in a rigid fashion.

When I started to write this post, I tried to remember the location of the buildings. I looked at the photo for clues and for the first time recognised the distinctive palazzo creeping in from the left. I’ve been working with the reference photo for weeks without really looking at its left hand edge because it is not in my picture.

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