Formal Designs

GRAND, CLASSICALLY INSIMREI) RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS CONTAIN A WEALTH OF ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS. PROVIDING AMPLE MATERIAL FOR BOTH SKETCHBOOK STUDIES AND I INIM I ED PAINTINGS.

Formal town houses similar to the style shown in this painting can be found in towns and cities throughout Britain, America and Australia, built by the wealthy merchant classes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to emulate the styles of the grand houses of Europe.

The geometric design made this building quite simple to record, and this was achieved through a series of studies.

The lower-floor windows were constructed around a circle (see right, for example) and the decorative brick frame followed the line of the semicircle exactly. Having established the structure of the remaining features with a careful pencil drawing, it was then a straightforward exercise to apply a wash of raw sienna, working carefully around the white plaster pillars and decorations using a medium-size brush. This was left to dry without the addition of any other tones — this would come later w ith the interplay of light and shade created by the addition of shadows. The next stage was to pick out the decorative brickwork around the windows and on the columns. This was achieved by applying a mixture of burnt sienna with a small brush. Because the paint was applied to dry paper it stayed more or less in place.

The next stage was to create some shading w ithin the wall, recording the relief construction of the decorative brickwork and the plaster ledges. These shadow s were painted by applying burnt umber, burnt sienna and a touch of ultramarine under these areas. As this was drying, a few drops of

Burnt sienna, burnt umber and ultramarine

Burnt sienna and burnt umber

Burnt sienna, burnt umber and ultramarine

Burnt sienna and burnt umber

Burnt sienna

Raw sienna (underwash)

Alcoves and recesses are interesting decorative features in formal buildings and require very dark tones

Burnt sienna

Raw sienna (underwash)

Alcoves and recesses are interesting decorative features in formal buildings and require very dark tones

The brickwork surrounding wooden window frames will often be a different colour or tone from the brick wall

Many doors and windows found in the more formal types of building are designed around geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and circles

The centre of this window crossbar is the centre of the circle on which the window frame is built

Raw sienna

Colours used in this study:

Burnt umber

Burnt sienna

Ultramarine

Brick Town I lousi

Most town houses were originally built to a geometrically planned, symmetrical design, although many have undergone structural change over the years

Shadows underneath the decorative features were painted with a mixture of burnt umber, burnt sienna and ultramarine and pulled downwards, using a small brush clear water were dropped onto the edges of the shadow paint and allowed to flow and dry naturally with hard edges, recreating the hard lines of the natural shadows.

The same technique was used to paint the shadows and recesses of the projecting masonry and ornate carvings around the door frame - lines of paint were run directly underneath protruding sections, and pulled downwards using a small brush and some clear water.

The section of wall between the wooden window frame and the outer brickwork will nearly always be in shade. The colour used here was created by mixing cobalt blue and burnt umber and applying it as a very watery wash

White plaster, stucco or woodwork was largely left as untouched white paper to work for itself. Certain areas were accentuated by the use of shading, but this was highly selective

Raw sienna

Colours used in this study:

Burnt sienna

Burnt umber

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