Rainy Winter Afternoon. South Bank from The Thames (30cm x 30cm acrylic inks and acrylic on paper)
I don’t often paint cityscapes but was inspired to do so this time after a February trip to London to deliver my painting to the Mall Galleries in preparation for the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours exhibition.
The weather was exceptionally wet. After trudging down the Mall followed by pizza to warm up (!) we decided to take a river trip up the Thames towards Tower Bridge. Visibility was fairly poor but, oddly, that added to the quality of the experience. The resulting painting is really a tonal one interspersed with the occasional spot of colour. I was interested in trying to recreate the dampness of the day and the flat light. Watercolour might have been the obvious choice but I decided to give it a go in acrylic inks on quite a textured watercolour paper. Somehow it seems rather calming….
I’ve been meaning to paint the California Poppies in my garden for weeks. They are such cheerful things – opening up in the mornings to greet the sunshine and then closing up in the evening when it starts to get dark. It’s been so hot though that I didn’t think I could manage to sit out there and paint them so I decided to pick just one flower, pop it in a tiny vase and retreat to the relative shade and cool of my kitchen to paint it there!
One of the advantages of daily painting is the opportunity to experiment. I can try something new each time I paint. Quite often I paint on a board that I have pre-tinted. It helps to unify the image and means that I am not confronted at the outset with the terror of a white canvas! I deliberately experimented here with painting on a board which I tinted a strong orange colour. When it came to painting the trees and their reflections I did this by ‘negatively painting’ the sky/water around them. I rather like the effect. The trees are stylized and the orange and blue play off against each other. Fun!