AFERRACE Ol TOWN HOUSES CREATES A CHAl FENCE IO THE A ICH ST IN TERMS OF THE I INEAR PERSPECTIVE OI: I HE DRAWING. AND I III I'ONAL PERSPECT IVE Ol TT IE PAINTING. CLOSE OBSERVATION Ol SURI ACE TEXTURES, REFLECTIONS IN WINDOWS AND DETAILS SUCH AS FLOWERING WINDOW BOXES WILL GREAT LY ENHANCE THE COMPOSITION.
Raw sienna was used as an underwash for bricks
W Cobalt blue
Reflections from window panes are important. Glass only reflects from its surroundings, which usually includes the sky, and. in this example, the buildings on the opposite side of the street
The leaves and foliage found in window boxes always contain several tones, and sometimes require more than one green
W Cobalt blue
Cobalt blue was chosen for the shading in this study, chiefly for \ the softness of tone created when the colour dries
Pkoject:Tekkaced Houses, London
The complexity of a long terrace such as the one in London's famous Chelsea district shown on the next page, requires a solid structure upon which to work if it is to succeed. A careful pencil drawing was made, ensuring that the perspective was accurate and that all the vertical lines remained parallel (see page 22).
Once this was established, the paint could be applied. Being largely brick and painted plaster, little colour was needed for the buildings — just a range of brick tones, shadows and reflections. The initial stages involved washing a mixture of burnt sienna with a touch of burnt umber across the walls, working onto dry paper to allow an element of control over exactly where the paint went. As usual with large areas of walls - be it brick, stucco, corrugated iron or wood - a totally smooth finish is rarely required. A patchy look w ill give a more realistic representation of a large wall, and details can be suggested in the next stages.
Some scenes benefit from strong lighting and harsh shadows, but the subtle interplay of light on the regular lines of this terrace was. I believe, much more attractive. The windows and the plastered surrounds were painted with cobalt blue to create the effect of soft lighting that occurred on the dav.
To create the effect of tonal perspective, I started with the furthest window and gradually worked towards the foreground, ensuring that each application of paint for each individual dwelling was a little darker than the previous one.
I All the vertical lines in the pencil drawing were checked to see that they were parallel before any paint was applied. A mixture of burnt sienna was washed onto the wall with a medium brush, the wash acting as an undercoat for the brickwork.
2 The shadows and reflections from the window and the plaster surrounds were painted using a small brush and cobalt blue. Working from the furthest to the nearest window, each
was painted a slightly darker tone than the one before to emphasize the effect of perspective.
Town I lousi s, Chhsea, London
3 Cobalt blue with a touch of burnt umber was used to create the shadows around the door. These colours were applied with a medium brush and pulled down the line of the pillar on the shaded side. Pure water was then washed along the middle of the pillar to prevent a hard edge occurring on the shadows.
•4 Assorted combinations of burnt sienna, burnt umber and ultramarine were used for the bricks, which were suggested by applying brushstrokes intermittently with a small brush. Water was dropped onto a few selected bricks to create a bleed.
You will recall that an element of shading was added to the plastered window surrounds with cobalt blue, and the same method was used for the door frame and the decorative pillars. Some shading was also required for the steps, and this was created by mixing the same cobalt blue with a touch of burnt umber for depth.
The most challenging aspect of this scene was the large brick wall facing me. This was a vital part of the composition, visually framed by the windows, door and plants, but it held little interest in itself.
It would have been neither possible nor desirable to have recorded every single brick of the wall, so the technique of suggestion was introduced. There are few rules for this technique. You, the artist, must make some decisions about how main bricks to suggest and exactly where to put them. Some advice, however, can be offered about how to suggest the bricks. I advise that you use three colours - one mix of pure burnt sienna, one mixture of burnt sienna and burnt umber, and one mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine to represent the burnt bricks that occur in walls. Apply these using a small brush as a single stroke, occasionally dropping a little water onto the edge of a 'brick' to create a bleed. Suggestion is alwavs best with watercolour, rather than labouring on details, in order to avoid a contrived appearance.
Finally, the foliage and flowers in the pots and window boxes were loosely painted, allow ing the w hite of the paper to stand for the white blooms, and ensuring that the colours harmonized with the composition.
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