Monday, 19 September 2011

Builders at lunchtime, Bond Street, Bath

Here is an other painting of Bath I've just entered for the Bath Prize competition. Done from a photograph I took at lunchtime a few weeks ago. It was a bright hot summer day and those builders with a flashy vest really caught my eye (it sounds a bit wrong said like that...).

Builders at lunchtime, Bond Street, Bath    10"x12"    oil on board


I just loved the contrast between the dark walls on the left and the stone bathed in light on the right. The orange vests add some spice and movement to the scene.

Preliminary sketch

Although this was painted in my studio, I used the same technique as I would if this was painted outside and tried to keep it fresh and spontaneous and use bold brushstrokes.

The reference photograph

The Bath Prize initial judging will be finished by end of September so I do hope I'll have a few of my paintings accepted. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Guildhall, Bath, summer afternoon

Here is an other painting I just finished with the aim to enter it in the Bath Prize competition which has a special prize for a painting of the Guildhall. It's such a beautiful building that it wasn't difficult to convince myself to give it a try.

The Guildhall, Bath, summer afternoon   12"x12"   oil on board

Close up of the building

Again for this one I worked from photograph because this is a very busy spot and I would have found it very difficult to cope with the amount of people and cars around.

One of the reference photographs

Below is the preliminary sketch I did. Although I never used a square frame before, for some reasons it seemed it was the most appropriate format for this subject and the best way to focus on the main part of the building while showing enough of the sky and the foreground.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Theatre Royal, Bath, Summer evening

For the third year now I have decided to enter the Bath Prize (, which is a painting competition for paintings of Bath. A location is allocated to each artist and it has to be his/her first entry, but the artist is free to enter additional paintings of any other locations. I have been really lucky as I have been given the Theatre Royal which is a beautiful building. A fellow painter Andrew Taylor suggested I should do it at night to get all the lights and I have to thank him for the great advice...

The Theatre Royal, Bath, Summer evening    oil on canvas  12"x20"

As much as I love painting outside in plein air, I decided to do this one in the studio for several reasons. First because it's a larger format than I usually work on, also because the sunset/evening light changes so quickly that it's very difficult to catch it on the spot, and finally also because this is a pretty busy spot and I'm still a little bit too shy to paint in very public places on my own...

I worked from a series of photographs which I took recently - I love all the lights and golden tones:

I found the sky a bit too dramatic on the pictures so I decided at a later stage to go for a sunset instead and adjusted my values on the rest of the painting too. Before starting the painting I did a quick sketch to test my composition. I applied a grid to it which I reproduced on my canvas to help me get the drawing right before tackling the painting.

I have just been in touch with the Royal Theatre as I was hoping to be able to do a few sketches from the inside of Theatre and maybe produce a painting inspired by Degas' Theatre/Opera stage work. I'm waiting to hear from them but there is only a couple of weeks left before the deadline so maybe I'm just being a bit too eager...

On a other note, please let me show off a little bit if you don't mind - I'm delighted to see that the Fall issue of Plein Air Magazine in USA features a great spread about our painting trip in Cornwall earlier this year. I was very happy to see they've displayed one of my painting (on the right hand page). It's such a great magazine - I would recommend to everybody (and not just because I'm in it!)

Plein Air Magazine - Fall issue