Dubrovnik – rooftops 1

Oil 36"x24"

This is an unusually large canvas for me, so in some ways I am out of my comfort zone. It will use  a lot more paint for a start  (I have many more deep insights like this) and I will have to keep stepping back to see how the overall image is coming along. I’m going to post progress each day and say something about each step. I’m actually a couple of days ahead so I have a bit of a breathing space if  I can’t paint or don’t feel like it. So the plan is 5 posts over the next five days. I have a good incentive now to keep at it.

The scene is the old city of Dubrovnik, and I was there in 2001 not long after the Balkan war finished and the tourists were beginning to re-appear. The old city was shelled extensively from the surrounding hills, and much repair work was still being done to the rooves. Nonetheless the roofscape from the city walls was still extremely beautiful – a mass of seething, jumbled terracotta tiles. This is what I want to capture along with the mid-morning October light building up to be a hot day. I am using one reference photograph taken that day, and it has been sitting quietly on my hard disk waiting for me do something with it – at least that’s the way I like to see it. I have another half dozen photos like this, taken years ago, of specific subjects of artistic interest to me, and I will get to them eventually.

So to start with I worked with a long, small brush, lightly stroking in blue lines to get the overall composition right, and then beginning to block in the areas of shadow. The colour of them didn’t matter to me right now – this is so different from watercolour where one would normally be putting in dark shadow areas towards the end.  There are a couple of shadows that provide structure to the whole painting, and I wanted to get these in very early on.


~ by noelgarner on April 1, 2010.

3 Responses to “Dubrovnik – rooftops 1”

  1. Will be watching with great interest. I love the rooftops of Europe.

  2. Very exciting! ….can’t wait to see the in-progress posts of this painting. I haven’t done large-scale paintings or pencil drawings (the latter I am more practiced at, generally) either – so know what you mean. I tried to scale-up the size of my canvas a couple of months ago, and I enjoyed the release of having such a wide expanse, so hope you do too. It definitely requires a different mindset than small-scale painting (well, I thought so). But, large paintings have a much more dramatic effect, and command a real sense of presence in a room, a real focus that smaller size paints simply can’t do….:-) Enjoy exploring and developing your talents; always god to keep stretching yourself to try new things I think!!!

  3. PS…the Last sentence was meant to read “always GOOD to keep stretching yourself…”, NOT God… I have just had some quiet time, so think I got a bit influenced!!!..:-)

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