I recently returned from a fabuloso trip to Venice with a crew of painting pals. It’s an incredible place and despite the fog, rain, floods and hoardes of tourists we all had a great time painting what has to be one of the most beautiful cities on the planet!
The roll call of plein air painters included Tim King, Haidee-Jo Summers, Valerie Pirlot, Karl Terry, David Bachman, Chris Daynes, Tony Dakin, Stuart Fullerton, Roy Connelly, Mike Richardson, Sidney Cardew, Eric (from Seville). I think that’s everyone…hope I haven’t left anyone off the list!
Venice is always a challenge and real test in terms of drawing, judging tones/values and many other painterly matters. I wanted to try and get to the ‘essence’ of the subjects and focus on the essentials without getting too distracted by fussy details. I remember discussing this with Tim on one of the Vaporetti, with Haidee and Valerie somewhat amused by our talk of the ‘DEADLY fine line’ between too much and too little detail. Dangerous sport this painting lark :)
Anyway, to the paintings. I’ve already started a larger studio version (18x24in) of the study below whilst it’s all fresh in my mind! It’s useful to have studied the facade of the Basilica a few times now and I can get a feel for the shapes. I love the way you get warm light reflecting up into the arches. The challenge will be to retain the energy of the location study in the studio piece….never easy! It was one of the few clearer days and as a result had a wider tonal range and more vibrant colours.
Another one that seemed to work out OK was this wide view of St Mark’s in the fog. A much more muted affair, I really tried hard to keep that ‘envelope’ of atmosphere in the murky haze. Although the fog obscures many views it can also add a unique atmosphere to certain subjects that you don’t see very often. I’m tempted to have a go at a larger one of this one too….why not indeed!