Stokes Croft

This is StinkFish‘s iconic piece at Stokes Croft. I worked on this street for about half a year, just behind the traffic light actually…

I’m going to paint this on a different format than the recent paintings, the interest here is the colour and shape.

First things first – get things layed out! This is where I put a grid on the reference image (I had to add a bit of sky here to frame things better) and then I scale it to my canvas.

This is definitely the easiest way to lay things out for me… if anyone has good ideas about how to not smudge pencil then let me know!

I don’t enjoy this part, but it is essential for me… I just want to get painting!

I always start with the sky – two reasons… it’s the furthest thing away an everything sits on top of it and also, I can paint below it on the canvas without fear of smudging.

I’m blocking in colours here and will finesse as I build the painting up. There is a lot of pavement and road to paint, and for that I have one person to learn from – a realtively local artist Pete Brown – he is the master of street scenes and can make any surface sing. Just look at this pavement!

I may have fixated a little too much on the amazing skills of this artist and it let me to over-work and over-think the pavement in my painting.

The good news is I can resolve things with more paint and more time!

A complete disaster!

I have to remind myself that I am painting in tough blocks and I will finesse things as I go. Always remember never to judge an unfinished piece. Mind you, stepping back and taking a look does give you time to think and change direction.

Still blocking in, but using the turquoise wash gave me a thought about using it across the finished painting to tie things together and almost create a graffiti esque style to the finished painting, so I think I will pursue that.

The star of the painting is the girl and, importantly, I am happy with how that part is going, everything can come alive around her.

It’s amazing how paintings guide you as much as you them! Sometimes you don’t see what you’ve got until you see the whole. With more work the pavement is beginning to fit the whole.

So, I’m getting close to the finish line here…

The question is always how far do you go – when is it done, done?

I obviously couldn’t leave the woman’s legs blue! That was a must-do job – as is the tree on the left.

Very-nearly, almost, done. Couple of bits to go and then it’s ready for it’s new home at my first customer’s house.

…and the finished painting is here!

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