Monday, 20 February 2012

February Challenge

This months challenge was chosen by Mick and is a scene in Venice showing The Bridge of Sighs.

When Mick sent this photograph I was unable to save it and various e-mails went back and forth without a resolution, Finally I searched the web and came up with a free utility called Pixillion Image Converter. I downloaded and it worked first time! I was able to convert the photo file enabling me to save, crop, print etc.

Venice is one of the most painted cities in the World - actually many think over painted. I remember reading of a judge at an exhibition saying if any more Venice paintings appeared he would...!!! On my last visit - a cruise in the Venice lagoons - we explored beyond the normal tourist limits. I knew that the population has fallen dramatically in the last decade or more and this was evident in the empty buildings and semi-derelict shops as soon as you got beyond the centre and main tourist areas. A dying city?

The first two paintings attempts were unsatisfactory. Yesterday I had a final shot and first of all cropped the photograph.

The right hand (facing) side has been cropped. This is the view I decided upon. I completed the drawing trying not to be over fussy but getting everything in their right place. 

Bridge of Sighs- Fabriano Artistico Extra White 18" x 10" Not

Modified by lightening the small rear bridge using a damp sponge.

I used quite a few colours in this painting. Blues were Cerulean, Cobalt (Rowney PB72) and Cyan (Maimeri Green shade PB15-3). The Cerulean mainly on the bridge, Heavily diluted Cobalt for the water and sky, with Cyan for the darker areas of the water. Also some Ultramarine for the darks in the boats. The walls were  Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Gold (Daniel Smith PO49) and Yellow Ochre (Graham) with Burnt Sienna , Ultramarine Violet Deep (Graham PV15) and Permanent Magenta (Rowney PV19). Some Viridian on the poles sticking out of the water and Burnt Umber and Indigo Daniel Smith) for the darks. I think that's it. Oh yes a touch of Permanent Carmine (W & N PR N/A) on the small boat.

Brushes by contrast were the Isabey Size 8 series 6228 and Da Vinci Maestro 10 Size 6, both Kolinsky sable plus a size 4 . 

One thing I'm frustrated with. I photographed the original using two cameras, a Nikon DSLR with 55mm lens and a Canon Powershot, different settings and under different light. Despite producing over 20 photographs not one conveys the actual painting in a satisfactory way. It is better than the reproduction on here - by a margin - but unfortunately you'll have to take my word for it. I'll have to consult Mick the camera expert. Comments welcome.


Anns Art said...

You made a great painting from the photograph Peter, I like the reflections in the water but also the colour of the buildings. They are always difficult to get right as it is so easy to end up putting in too much detail and getting very tight with the piece.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Ann. It's just a shame the reproduction doesn't do the painting full justice.

Keith Tilley said...

Hello Peter, I like the textures on the buildings and the water is convincing.

The bridges don't look quite right to me, almost as if one is above the other. If you squint at the photograph, you will see that the nearer bridge is quite a bit darker than the other one. Maybe a darker wash over the top would help.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for commenting Keith. I take your point about the bridges although I think I'll handle it differently. I don't want to change the first bridge but I may be able to lighten the second.I,ll think about it. I'm paranoid about overworking.

Keith Tilley said...

Yes you've got some nice detail on the first bridge. You would probably only need to lighten the bottom of the second one.

Peter Ward said...

I've sponged off the strong colour on the small bridge Keith. I think that will do as it isn't intended as any sort of focal point.

Robert P. Armas said...

I find it pretty good overall.If I wasn't reading the comments I probably overlooked the second bridge values,but after reading,yes,I believe that a more subtle color help to convey the depth and distance between both bridges.Good work Peter.

Ray said...

Think I have to agree with Keith on a dark wash over the first bridge and even running over the buildings on the left. They do appear as one dark shadow. This would show up that lovely light shape between the two bridges. Though you are right about not overworking.

Mick Carney said...

The second one gives a much better sense of recession and enhances the attention grabbing quality of the detail you have achieved on the B of S. Enjoyable image.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Mick. Just shows you have to keep on your toes all the time to avoid regressing.