Saturday, 28 January 2012

A Little Bit of Victoria Street

Continuing with the Edinburgh theme yesterday in the studio.  I looked out some of the sketches I did with the sketching group last time we were out.  I had particularly thought about doing a study picture on the subject of the 3 gables.  Before I started out on this, I felt a bit daunted.  I think buildings are harder work than landscapes, and I don't feel so free doing them (have to be a bit more disciplined, I suppose).  But this is my current direction and I want to give it a go.  Perhaps I was feeling a bit tired as I decided to do it on its own, i.e. not doing two pics at once.  And I was less pleased with the results.

Anyway, here's the picture development.

Stages of emerging picture - Three Gables -  Copyright Aileen Grant
I used the usual - charcoal, graphite, oil bar, then added some acrylic and water, then ink and drew back into the picture.  I think I faffed around with the windows too much - put them in, knocked them back, put them in again.  Not sure I like them yet, but I think the shopfronts look OK.  Rona M saw this picture last night and suggested the two figures don't work, and I think she might be right.  I'm perhaps a bit too attached to the foreground figure, and I can hear Jacqueline's advice ringing in my ears - don't hold onto details just because you like them - do they work in the picture? I quite like the far away figure and I think he's in the right place, so I guess he should stay.

Anyway, when I got to this stage, I felt it really hadn't worked and that I had wasted this precious day.  So I thought I'd try it again. 
Emerging picture of Three Gables (2) copyright Aileen Grant
Now, when I finished this, I thought it was better than pic1.  I prefer the texture on the buildings, and I do like a spot of orange in a picture (Quindachrome burnt orange mixed with other colours).  But again, I fiddled around with the windows and they're still not to my liking.  Also I had set out to control the colour a bit more and clearly did not deliver on that objective.  And when I got hime with these pics, Peter said he preferred the frst one.

Well, they're studies really. So I now have ideas to improve upon the idea.  I think I need more verticality - the buildings should really be  taller.  And I need to make a decision on the colour before I set out - pale but interesting colour should be my aim.  A single figure, or a small group. And be thoughtful about the windows - some more clearly defined than others. 

But overall, I also wonder if I've got the balance right on the amount of work in the picture.  Again the unfinished images look quite interesting, and maybe a more abstract approach would make a better picture?  Comments welcome.

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