Wednesday, March 11, 2009

George Square

oil 25x31cm

Finished yesterday, this is a view of the back of George Square from the Swedish Café on Middle Meadow Walk.

Reasonably happy with this, though I had a problem with some of the upper clouds. Solved it by A) Listening to some Philip Glass solo piano, and B) Abandoning the damar/oil medium, which got too sticky too quick, and resorting to a basic turps/oil mix for the blended area. It’s really tedious having to re-learn these things again.

So much for the technology, here’s the interesting stuff about the composition. The painting is about the stack extending from the hard, heavy mass of the buildings into empty space. So, I’ve made the painting very stable and bottom heavy. The canvas is upright to broadly echo the vertical stack, which stands alone against a plain untextured background.

I liked the idea of the window groups of three, two, and one. The single has the most complex shape, and is the most interesting in that it’s slightly open and right next to the stack. They are tweaked to sit on different levels so that, reading from the left, they form a shallow arc dipping then curling up to the chimney. This ‘curve’ is set against the rectangular nature of the building shapes and their textures. The movement is reinforced by the shapes of the trees and the sloping, then rising, forms of the two cumulus clouds behind. The whole thing was composed with photoshop, which lets me test compositional ideas from photographs very quickly.

I really enjoyed painting this, especially the stack. Which makes sense, seeing as how that was what grabbed my attention away from the hot chocolate and pastry in the first place.

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