A view of Liverpool city towards the Mersey with the tall commercial buildings blocking out the bright sunlight until the sun’s persistence starts to break through and tear open the gloom. On the right, towering above the street, is the Liver Building with its clock tower and the Liver Birds balanced on the cupolas above.
I think I had just come out of a life drawing session and crossed the road to spot this. The life drawing group had been forced to move here from a decrepit but lovely light building to one on the right, There wasnt much natural light on the model down at the bottom of this valley and added to that the room was smaller.
I have shown versions of this before and here is the latest manifestation following more changes. This time I thought that the figure on the left needed improvement and I made it in the likeness of Duncan Ferguson a key player for Everton which is represented by the blue. This counters the right side with the Liverpool hero Steven – so establishing some symmetry and evening up the accolades for this football obsessed city.
I admit that not a great deal has changed since the last time but with my daughter up from London for a few days I didnt get much painting done and this was all I could fit in – so take a slice of Liverpool.
Before Christmas there was a call for paintings of Liverpool for a book entitled The Liverpool Art Book. The authors have done a number of other cities starting with the Cambridge Art Book. They use quirky media such as CAD, collage and screen print etc so I thought my images might be a little staid. I also thought that they would want images of major landmarks.
This week they got back to me and said that they wanted copies of two of my paintings. One was a watercolour that could be of anywhere. I called it Shopping Can Create a Thirst and it was from images taken in Liverpool One (the main shopping area in Liverpool). I was pleased with the painting – but I actually threw it in the entry by accident.
I suppose the second one was more what I thought that they might want – it was a pastel of the area close to the waterfront
It is called Crossing the Strand and shows the Liver Building in the Background.
I have posted both these paintings in the past, but I must admit their selection was a bit of a surprise. Still at least I got two in. The book is supposed to come out later in the year.
I used my liquid acrylics to start this off and am quite pleased with some of it. Other parts are a bit more pedestrian than I would have liked – and I dont mean the figures crossing the road.
I did a similar thing last year, which I posted, even using a few of the same motifs, as you can see below, and got similarly bogged down with an illustrative approach. The liquid acrylics helped liven up proceedings in the latest painting and, I feel, opened up some options. Every time I see the painting, I add or change bits of it, so maybe it isnt finished yet.
I need to try developing the approach on another image and see if I can avoid some of the pitfalls that beset me.
The session organiser gave the model a Rubik’s cube to focus on for last Saturday’s session. He declined the challenge to solve it.
Here is the same model sparsely painted in acrylics a couple of weeks ago. It was done on a yellow base I used it just to give me a tonal background to work off. The model was taken with the colour as a possibility for his living room. I sent him the details later.
I wanted to try some more townscapes and get a little more rawness into the image. This is one of Liverpool with the Liver Building silhouetted in the background. I have done this view before and put it on the blog, but getting figures in this time and making them prominent gives the image more depth and vitality.
It’s unfinished, but with friends about to arrive for the weekend and my computer, which is constantly giving me problems getting collected today for repair, I thought I would put this out, whilst I had the chance.
When the dust settles, I’ll work on it a bit more, still it looks like it’s going to be a good weekend – hope you have the same.
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.