Sunday, October 16, 2016

Two recent commissions | Buildings

In the past two weeks I did two paintings of buildings, both of the campus and both commissioned as retirement gifts for University staff. They are acrylic on canvas and measure 30 x 40cm. I often forget to document the work-in-progress, but with these I took a couple of photos along the way. 

With most of my paintings I start with a random underpainting. Before I got a wet palette to keep acrylics wet I would use up any leftover paint and smear it onto a new canvas, and now I do that when there is very little paint left in the wet palette (I also often paint over old paintings I no longer like). It makes me incorporate colours I might not consciously choose and gets rid of the fear of the blank canvas while also providing impasto. One deliberate addition tends to be some bright, almost neon pink, which will then peek through the top layers.

In the picture below the first random layer is already covered with more paint to roughly sketch in the shape of the clock tower:

Then I blocked in more colours. I almost prefer the below to the finished painting, but then I love the unfinished look:

It was a very similar process for the second painting:


I like to paint buildings in a slightly wonky and messy sketchy style, with light and colour from the underpainting coming through. There is something relaxing and mesmerising about painting architectural elements, with all the repetition and geometry. 

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