Winning the First Prize at Pintar Rapido in London 2013

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Adebanji painiting "The Summer Buzz at Kensington Church Street"

On Saturday we had a great Plein air Festival in London called Pintar Rapido. The Borough of Kensington and Chelsea hosted up to 400 painters who registered to take part in this one day competition. Roger Beckett, the founder of this event in London got the idea from Spain and did a brilliant job to put this altogether in London for the first time.

My Winning Painting! -photo by Roy Connelly

The rules were simple, choose a spot in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and paint it in a day! The Artists registered at 9.00am at the Chelsea Town Hall and got the painting surfaces stamped, then they all went to their favourite chosen spots around Chelsea to work on their pieces. We were all to come back by 8pm with the finished works ready for hanging. all the works were to be on display the next day at the Chelsea Town Hall, where all the paintings would be for sale and the winning painting would receive £1,000!

Prof Ken Howard (middle) announcing the winners and Roger Beckett (founder of Pintar Rapido in London) looks on. photo by Roy Connelly

I went to Kensington Church Street, and I painted it from Kensington High Street. I discovered this street while commuting on the 328 bus, once the bus got to this street, the trees looked great, they cast their shadows on the buildings and it really made a long lasting impression on me. I decided that I'll paint it as it was the place my heart really went out for!

This is the scene where I painted- Kensington Church Street

I started painting around 10am and finished around 4pm. It was hot, boiling but I enjoyed every bit of it! My wife and kids came around and Ruth did a short video of me speaking about the event.

I couldn't go for the Exhibition on Sunday because of my Church responsibilities, but I was  so pleased to have Prof Ken Howard call me to break the good news that I won! He said he thought it was a good painting! That really made my day!

For this painting, I used Winsor and Newton Artist Acrylics with all the mediums like slow dry medium, impasto heavy body medium and flow enhancer. I worked on a  Winsor and Newton 24" x 30" linen Canvas.

Here below are some stage shots at particular times of the day of how the painting developed.


STAGE 1. 10:06am- I lay out all my colours, 15 colours in all. Titanium White, 3 yellows (cadmium lemon, cadmium pale and azo or deep yellow) , Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, a Sienna Red, 3 Blues(Cobalt, Cerulean and Ultramarine) and 3 greens (Hooker, Sap and Viridian).  I use three mediums-Slow dry, Impasto heavy body medium and Flow Enhancer. I also have a tear off disposable palette and  the main palette I used is from Daler Rowney, it has a cover to preserve the colours. I attach a little orange bucket for my water to rinse the brushes and a Cass Art bag for dirty rags.


STAGE 2- 10.16am- Here I do my normal 'griding', dividing the ground into 16 squares and 4 diagonals. This helps me plan where things are going to be on the surface. It's almost like I have an imaginary square in front of me with these squares and diagonals. I measure the distances according to these squares.


STAGE 3-11.30am- Here I paint very very quickly, plotting perspective lines, The sky and the initial underpainting for the buildings. Everything is carefully measured. My palette has a big patch of blue as you can see for the sky.


STAGE 4. 12.03noon- I now begin to make impressions of every interesting shape under the tree. It's very hard to just focus on the shapes and not try to paint things! Once I get the right shapes they pop up well!


STAGE 5 12.48noon- For the next 40 minutes I just determine to play with the trees! It was such a delight! I have always longed to paint these trees and ever since I read a book by Norman Battershill on Trees, I have fallen in love with painting trees. I painted the cool shady areas first, with mixtures of Green with Alizarin Crimson and Cobalt blue and for the light areas I added Yellow Ochre and the warm yellows.


STAGE 6 13.43pm- I then make sure I focus on the roads and shadows around the roads. The roads look easy but they took a long time to sort out. A few cars and buses line up down the road and I'm lucky that each time the bus stops for the traffic to pass, it stops at the same place, so I was able to use so many buses for the same one in my painting.


STAGE 7- 14.11pm- I still worked on the roads adding middle platforms and leveling the area for things to work out.  I also add details on the buildings along the road that vanishes under the trees.

STAGE 8 16.13pm- Finally I do the detailing and make sure there are figures moving about, there were loads of people but I was beginning to get tired here, so I just added a few in strategic places to help the composition. I added a bit more flicker highlights to the trees and then I just left every other thing that might do- out, so I don't work it to death!

While on my way back to my studio on Lots Road, I met a group of Painters around Lots Road painting.

Some painters around my Studio on Lots Road.

 If you are interested in seeing how I use Acrylic to Paint, I have a DVD available with TOWN HOUSE FILMS, Click HERE for the details.

"I'm always constantly sketching, this is the secret to painting rapidly, keep a sketchbook and sketch everyday!!!"-Adebanji Alade

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