I read an article by the artist, Colin Brown, detailing his approach to cityscapes. I thought that it could help energise my own work. As with many such demonstrations, there were aspects that I didn’t like, but his starting point seemed interesting. I suppose I had unconsciously used a similar approach in my life painting, but Brown provided a coherent structure that I felt was worth investigating.

So here is my first attempt, applying some of his methodology. The subject is the Strand on the Liverpool waterfront. Here you need to cross this very busy road to get from the city centre to the old dock buildings which have now been converted to shops, restaurants, apartments, arenas, art galleries and museums.

I wanted to contrast the people waiting at the crossing to the heavy traffic and the business of the early evening activities going on around and of course reference part of the Liver Building.

I originally did a version in pastel and it got used in a book on Liverpool, published a few years ago.

But despite being published the painting never sold. So this time I changed the angle and featured the highrise, which is supposed to reflect an ocean liner, and also pushed more colour into the piece.

As I’ve said many times before – you can but try.

Other townscapes and paintings of Liverpool are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


  1. This is very vibrant! I really like how the road sweeps in from the left then turns back on it’s way out. It has a very dynamic influence on the buildings and people. Very nice. I’ve found it’s inspiring to play with new styles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gail. I think that line is the marker for the bus lane and there is a lovely sweep to it.
      I am always looking to find ways to vary my technique, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Having a vocabulary of styles allows the selection of a suitable approach to suit a subject and this guy formalised something I was already doing with my life work. I cant understand why I hadnt considered it for other genres. Sometimes you need someone to spell out the obvious to you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, the varying colours of artificial light can turn a pictorial scene into an abstract and this can be enhanced further by reflective surfaces created by rainfall. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

      Liked by 1 person

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