Arches

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THE GRACEFU1 ELEGANCE OF THE GEOMETRICAI LY DESIGNED ARC:H IS BOTH TECHNICALLY AND AESTHETICALLY REWARDING TO RECORD IN PENCIL AND WATERCOI.OUR, AND EXAMPLES ARE OFTEN TO BE FOUND IN THE MOS I PEACEFUL SETTINGS.

The intricate tracery and carving found in churches, cathedrals, cloisters and colleges is highly demanding in terms of the level of observation required to get a row or series of them accurate - for this reason I always set about making relevant sketchbook studies before using them in a composition.

As I have already mentioned, geometry is a common design factor in important public buildings. Ecclesiastical buildings, from the largest cathedral to the smallest rural church or college chapel, demonstrate this, even in their smallest details. The arch study show n on this page was constructed around a framework of three circles - even the circular opening of the window has an inner tracery w hich is based on a design with three circles.

I laving drawn or sketched the construction lines and developed the smooth curves of the arches in pencil, you may well find that the painting that follows will appear as almost a monochrome exercise. Where the stone arches or windows have been the subject of partial renovation, the different colour of the new stone is usually noticeable. Most stone is a very dull colour, but contains many different tones. This is particularly evident in the outer edges of stone arches and in the tracery, as the different levels of stone worked by the craftsmen create the different layers of light and shade.

The edges of the stone ridges in this particular study were picked out using a small brush, and painted onto a previously applied underwash of raw sienna. To maintain a level of neutrality in the colouring, some cobalt blue was mixed with a little burnt umber.

Most arches are constructed around the geometry of the circle.This pointed arch also has a typical arrangement of three circular openings in its stonework tracery

Arc ii Study

Cobalt blue Burnt umber

Raw sienna

Arches Geometry

Most arches are constructed around the geometry of the circle.This pointed arch also has a typical arrangement of three circular openings in its stonework tracery

Stone window arches are often stepped to different depths, requiring several different tones as the shadows become deeper

Cobalt blue Burnt umber

Raw sienna

I OK MAI liUIIDINCS

Pencil Bridge Painting

The more detailed structures will require a more carefully drawn outline on which to paint. A B-grade pencil was used for this study

The shaded section of this graceful bridge was painted onto dry paper with a small brush to maintain full control over the movement of the paint

The more detailed structures will require a more carefully drawn outline on which to paint. A B-grade pencil was used for this study

The shaded section of this graceful bridge was painted onto dry paper with a small brush to maintain full control over the movement of the paint

While this combination will result in a cool grey it washed directly onto white paper (as was mentioned on the previous page), when it is washed over the top of a raw sienna undercoat, it absorbs a little of that colour's warmth, and takes on a more neutral tone.

Using a small brush, this mixture of cobalt blue and burnt umber was run along the outer edge of the first indent in the arch, starting at the top and pulling the paint in .1 gentle sweep along the underside of the stone ridge. As this was drving. a verv careful

painterly manoeuvre was being planned.

Using the very tip of the small wet brush. 1 partially pulled some of the recently applied paint downwards onto the next inner ridge, though making sure that the paint directly under the outer ridge was left untouched. I wanted this to dry with a hard line, emphasising the line of the carving and the hardness of the stone. This procedure was repeated again with the inner stone of the arch. Each successive layer resulted in a darker tone, giving the impression that the arch 011 the paper really did have a three-dimensional element to it.

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Responses

  • alfrida
    How to paint shading on arches?
    7 years ago
  • sirja
    How to paint buildings with arches?
    5 years ago

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