|Time Out Café at the Guildhall, Bath, in the afternoon 12"x10" oil on board|
I couldn't face painting this one on location as the place is pretty small and rather crowded so I did it in my quiet studio instead from a series of photographs I took. It was quite a long process before I could start using the paint as I first selected a few pictures of the elements I wanted to paint, then I did a sort of photoshop collage to get everything I wanted to include on the same shot. Here are some of my photographs of the place:
I then did I drawing of the scene to test my composition and squared it up with a grid that I reproduced on the canvas to be able to replicate the same drawing.
Once the drawing was done on my canvas, I finally could have fun with the paint. I really enjoyed painting this one and it was actually easy and effortless to do, which is not always the case, so you have to enjoy it when it happens! In fact I don't really remember painting this. I was what you call "in the zone", time flew by and after a few hours I kind of woke up in front of a finished painting! Nice one!
Here below are a few close up of parts of the painting.
As usual, the main point of interest for me in the painting is the light. I love the lights in the shop in the distance and I made this my focal point, contrasting with the dark tones in the the Café in the foreground. The head position of the man in the middle is also directing to this point:
The windows in the ceiling are also a very important part of the painting. They bring space and light to the piece and make it "breathe". They manage to exist without "stealing the show" because their colour is a bit cooler than the warm yellow/orange lights of the shops. The flags add some movement to the piece and make the eyes travel across the painting:
I'm looking forward to seeing my work at the Bath Prize and find out what other painters have come up with. The exhibition starts at the end of the week. I will do a post about the show in the next few days and give you full details about it.