The Making of Rain, Reflections and The Lady in Red

alla prima demo Enid Lawson Gallery exhibition landscape landscape painting london oil oil on board rain reflections urban life

Rain, Refections and The Lady in red, 8" x 10", Oil on Board. 

This is a little 8" x10" painting I did a while back and posted under the title-The Power of Red-of a wet London scene. Every now and then apart from posting the work I do or work that I am currently working on. I also like to share the stages I go through to produce some of these paintings. This particular painting was painted entirely from a photograph, all in one sitting, to keep the paint fresh and not overworked, just as if I was painting outdoors.  It's not a step by step demonstration, I really don't believe paintings can be absorbed through a step by step procedure. These are just pictures I took at different stages of the painting while in progress.

Stage 1- I have done a precise grid of the painting surface. I used the Accurasee  software to do this. The grid lines are done in coloured pencil, then fixed. After which I have sketched in a blue and purple ball point pen-just for some variety. Already, I have started with some of the greens of the trees, I have decided to paint in a shape by shape method here. which is more of an "Inside -out Technique"

Stage 2-  Using this same method of painting shape by shape,  I slowly creep out of the tree area into other places. Always keeping in mind the power of edges.  if something is behind, then it should be painted first. Unless some sort of effect is desired to keep the edges fresh.                                                                                                                                         

Stage 3- The most interesting part, the wet reflected pavement,  is painted in a shape by shape method too. I always try my best to match each colour and shape as seen from the reference. But also every now and then I add what I think it looks like when it actually rains-that's the part the reference can not inform-it must be experienced and the emotions brought back to the studio.

Stage 4- And finally I work on the centre  of interest-the lady. I also work quickly because this is an "alla -prima" work , I have to make sure the paint is all still wet so the woman doesn't look like a cut-out but part of the painting. All detail is kept to the barest minimum to keep the painting very impressionistic in nature.

"Every artist has  a painting which is hidden away at the bottom of a drawer which, when they painted it, they thought was fantastic! Our eye develops, as do our technique and ideas. It is experience that helps us to see our successes and technical errors and use these mistakes to go forward."-(Criteria for judging an artwork- The Art of WATERCOLOUR Magazine)

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