Hope Street stretches between the Catholic and Anglican Cathedrals. The morning light on the Anglican Cathedral makes it a great subject. I’ve even painted it into the afternoon when it glowers over the city in full sun. However, I have never seen the Catholic Cathedral in an inspiring light. That is, until I saw it against the evening darkness as I waited to cross the road to the Philharmonic pub which can be seen on the left. The lights on the Catholic Cathedral show the crown against the night sky. This is another Liverpool night scene. Like most cities it has a buzz in the evening as people are rushing to get home, do some quick shopping or get a drink.
I was taking some paintings to an exhibition at the Crosby Hall Educational Trust, which opens tomorrow, when I turned down Back Lane which leads to Crosby Hall and saw the autumn trees in the sunshine. With the shaded areas in blues and purples there was a great clash of complementary colours giving the scene even more zing. I tried to paint the distant trees on damp paper whilst splattering the foreground trees. The light on the wall also gives a focus.
Other paintings of little Crosby can be found on my web site under the sold section – Artists page- grahammcquadefineart.com
I was reading about a painter who was using raw pigment with watercolour. I thought that I would have a go and scraped some of my soft pastels ( which is mainly pigment with some binder) over the wet sand area and then sprayed it loosely with water to add some texture. It has given some nice effects but the pigment hasn’t bound very well as I was unwilling to press it in because I would lose the texture.. I might experiment by adding some gum arabic to the spray. As I live by the shifting sands of the Mersey Estuary it would be great to capture some of the effects you see in the sands and this technique might open up some possibilities.
Walking up Hanover Street after Life Drawing on a Thursday evening now that the nights have got darker earlier has taken on a different perspective. The drab buildings are now illuminated with shots of light and their old style of architecture is picked out in interesting shapes and shadows. Fleet Street runs off Hanover Street and old warehouses have been converted into clubs and bars. Cabs often wait up the street to join the rank in Hanover Street when a space becomes available. The street has a look of the decay that is belied under the street lights and illuminated signs.
Exhibitions are coming thick and fast and my framer said he would take some paintings to put in his window. Canals are quite a popular theme with the Leeds Liverpool canal running along close-by. I was a bit short of suitable paintings and had this image. I like the narrowboats against the backdrop of the old mill. I did a similar theme a long while ago where I got up close to the narrowboats, again with the mill in the background and the trees giving deep shade to counterpoint the lit surfaces. It was a favourite painting and sold quickly. This view pulls back a bit, but I thought that it would still make a great subject. Anyway it is in a frame now along with eight others. Now I need to focus on the next exhibition. Thankfully they only want two.
I was impressed by the stark work of Mark Demsteader and I wanted to try out a similar style. I did the one of Arthur first and although I haven’t got the aggressiveness of Demsteader’s style I like the stark tonal work on the warm background.With the second model I added more colour and did far more on the torso, but as I only had a part face to work on I wanted a more of a challenge, besides, I was taken by the folds in the model’s flesh.
Perhaps I should try mixing the pastels with water and reduce some of the intermediate tones. Another day.
It was a year ago yesterday I started this madness – and I don’t mean the painting. I started with an oil so here is another oil. I keep meaning to do more but never get around to it. I did this with multiple glazes, but it got a little ragged trying to glaze around small objects. I would definitely tackle it differently if I did it again.
I go into Liverpool on a Thursday evening to participate in a life drawing session. As the nights have closed in I have been aware of the illuminated streets and the vibrancy of the scenes . I got down here at the Albert Dock at dusk and tried to capture the activity just before the night fell and removed the subtle shapes of the unilluminated buildings.
I was reminded of painting contra jour where the light wipes out the detail and leaves the shapes. It is the same here with the lack of light snatching the details and leaving you with the essence of place. I might try out a few more.
I started this in pastel but struggled with it. I moved to acrylic and made some progress. I think the many details made it too difficult in pastels, but it might be worth another shot.
This is the third of the woodland paintings. I have done this before, but on twice the size and I wasn’t happy with it. This is quarter imperial and does work a little better than the previous one I did.
One more in a series of woodland paintings. I have found that woodland scenes do not sell very well. Perhaps its the way I paint them and I just need more practice. In the past I did them on half imperial sheets 52cmx36cm approx. I decided to make these latest paintings smaller and so they are on quarter imperial sheets. You can but try and as Ron Ransom used to say (is he still alive?) its just a sheet of paper.