The Liverymen 04 – advancing colour

The Liverymen - putting in the darks
The Liverymen – putting in the darks.

It helps to read the picture by getting the darks in, so I roughed in the dresser, the chair and the wellies.

I had feared that the dresser would dominate the picture, but in the event, the two figures in their rich robes were not going to be overcome by anyone!

It was at this stage I stumbled across my major puzzle – relative size!  I had photographs of many of the objects, but their size in relation to each other was problematic. Brian’s Cup had a couple of wine glasses in shot, and Martin’s antique glasses and wine bottles were displayed together. But, how tall was the dresser in relation to the figures, and how wide?  and what about the fishing paraphernalia?  I had a fishing catalogue with good photos in it but the size of the items in relation to each other, never mind in relation to the figures was not obvious.  Also working on a canvas this size meant that everything was not under the eye at once.

The Liverymen
The Liverymen

I thought it would be good to add colour to check the tonal balance and it certainly shows how the colours are affecting each other.  But it also shows the size mistakes more clearly – no bad thing, but a bit disconcerting.  So you can see Giant’s wellies (right next to Brian’s neat feet!) a soup plate reel, a fishing rod like a tree trunk, a very spindly, somewhat inebriated chair, and a decided dip in the middle shelf as it goes behind the picture.  I don’t think those books would sit easily in the hand, either.


Dee in flood – Farndon

Farndon Bridge -black-and-white
Farndon Bridge -black-and-white

This is a copy of a painting from my book, “The Bridges of Dee”, called “The Great Curve”.  I was surprised by this huge curving wall on one side only which is an extension of the parapet of the Thirteenth Century bridge over the Dee between Farndon and Holt.  I had been prospecting (for a commission) for a different view of the bridge- I have painted it so many times – and, as I walked down the bank, a place I rarely go, I saw it.  The river was in flood at the time so the whole experience was unusual, but I loved the curve.  The commission was for a black and white painting, not my favourite colour scheme, and in the event the prospective patron bought another painting entirely.  So I co-opted it into my “Bridges of Dee”.  But I have always wanted to do it in colour and this is the first “pass” of the colour edition .firstlayerfarndon

I wanted something kinder, more tranquil, than the drama of the original, and in truth, it has ended up rather dull.  However, this is an oil painting so nothing is immutable.  The curve is there, but the water is much more reflective, the half drowned bushes greet the sun after a stormy night, blue sky and white clouds offer hope of a better day, so I think I will remove the dark clouds on the right. Indeed, the lighting needs attention throughout the painting.