How I painted 'The Town House'
I am sometimes asked how I work,
so I have chosen this painting to illustrate the process. I usually work from photographs I have taken myself,
and selected this one as I felt it contained some interesting
architectural details; I also liked the red brick variety and the shape of
the windows and door:
I wasn't particularly keen on the shape of the building as a whole, so I cropped the image quite extensively to get to the bit I wanted:
Then I prepared my preliminary pencil sketch. I usually do my pencil sketches freehand, but with a fairly complex subject such as this it helps to make some reference points - you will see I used a very simple 'X' grid arrangement to help organise the elements of the painting and keep everything aligned. The verticals on the right have gone out of alignment, but I will correct that later. This scanned image of the sketch has been enhanced a little in Photoshop to make things clearer:
Now the first watercolour washes are put in, with some correction to the verticals. I am trying here to build a focus on the doorway arch:
The finished painting. Second watercolour washes have been applied, then the outlines of the features are emphasised in pen and black Indian ink (Pitt artist pens are my favourites). I was conscious of the desire to give the painting a central emphasis and focus on detail. Click on the image to see a larger version of the final work:
The entire process represented about four hours work.
All images on this site are © Andrew Rance