All that glitters must surely be from Essex

All that glitters must surely be from Essex
Oil and glitter on canvas

Sunday, 2 March 2014

How to underpaint a Roman wall....and why you never never forget your flask!

After a very busy few months, it was back into the studio today to continue with my current 2 pieces, my pa of the Balkerne Gate and St Botolphs's, both in Colchester.  Having got half way to the studio before realising I had left my sketchbook at home with the work I would need to continue with the St Botolph's piece, the decision was made for me to concentrate on Balkerne gate for today.

In my previous posts you will see the work I have done so far on this piece, today was about the underpainting on the gate.

I decided to use the same Indian Red as I had used in the underpainting for the sky.

 It's a very warm teracotta colour, that I'm using to highlight it's Roman origins.  The brincks in the wall are still visibly red in colour but have changed colour due to erosion, time and pollution.
By hinting at the brickwork detail, although this will be painted over at a later stage, it will aloow me to follow some of the lines when I do the overpainting.

With some colour added to the floor it was time to bring in dome tomes to help give it definition and depth.  Black at this stage would be too severe so instead I began to mix Steel Blue, into the Indian Red.  This was the colour I had used for the sky, so Iwas almost painting the direct reversal for the foreground as I had for the background
I wasn't sure if this would give it too much of a purple hue, but i was pleased with the results.

I began working in the darker tones gradually as I didn't want to overwhelm the balance of the piece.
at this point it would have been good to stand back with a cuppa whilst I decided on my next move.  Only I realised not only had I forgotten my sketchbook but also my flask.  Now this was a crisis as far as i was concerned....I cannot remeber the last time I painted without a cup of tea or coffee and I can say it is not an experience I wish to repeat.  It is practically improssible to be creative without a hot beverage!!

Without much choice I had to power through.  I decoded to add some highlights, but not with white as this would be too much of a washout for the colours.  I wanted to keep it warm so began the hunt around my space for yellow.  it wasn't quite the shade i was looking fact i'm not sure what shade it was, but it was the only one I had *note to self, stop on the way home to purchase a better shade of yellow*.

When mixed with the Indian Red it actually worked quite well (but I still stopped ont he way home anyway!)

By using an the blue to give the structural defination, this will help me to add much more depth with the overpainting later and not lose the larger areas of tone when I add a lot more of the brickwork detail later.

So I left the studio today, pleased with how it's developing.  Next week i need to remember to take my sketchbook so that I can make a start on the St Botolph's piece and will NEVER AGAIN forget to take my falsk to the studio - schoolgirl error, Eve....schoolgirl error!

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