This is part of the Albert Dock complex on the Liverpool waterfront with the Anglican Cathedral – a subject of an earlier blog – glowering in the background. The pumphouse is now a pub but was built to power the hydraulic cranes used for loading and unloading the ships. It may also have powered the refrigerated facilities at the dock.
The question was whether to include the chimney or not. Including it constrains the painting and reduces the detail. As it has a rather quirky shape I decided to include it all and pay the price. The images I used were into the sun and I tried to vary the colours, mixing on the paper, but as I built up the perspective tonally, the mixes homogenised.
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.