Some years ago, I began this painting of a very dilapidated house. All around it, the houses were pristine, elegant, expensive! This relict of another time was in urgent need of assistance. The case looked terminal, though television shows of buildings in a far worse state being reborn offer hope.
I was painting in oils. I added buildings on the left to even up the view and enjoying myself with colour and brush-strokes. Indeed, all was going well until circumstances interfered with my painting time. When I came back to it, I had forgotten my original intentions and couldn’t find my way back into the picture. I hung it on the wall in my studio and largely ignored it. Then, after my recent exhibition, I was reorganising the studio and my interest was rekindled.
Rather than dive straight in, I thought I would attempt it first in watercolour, taking the unaltered photo as my guide and limiting my palette to Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna. The mood is muted, elegiac even. The Photo has turned out rather dark . so none of this is clear! I’ll try for a better one later.
A broken wash of Raw Sienna with a tiny amount of Burnt Sienna in the mix gave me the building on the right, while the admixture of a touch of Prussian Blue, dirtied it nicely for the invalid. A splash of pale Prussian Blue on the old shutters and on the road completed this first phase.
When it was dry I added other broken splodges to suggest dilapidation before adding the darker details of windows, shutters and doors. This one isn’t finished either, but I feel I know the view better and can make progress in both. Result!