Constructing City Compositions

A torturous title 😆. It can be difficult to get across just how much preparation and construction goes into an artwork. Especially the bigger canvas compositions, which can be quite the jigsaw puzzle! I like to think that it’s one of the things I’m quite good at… creating plausible scenes from really places. But to fit all the key features of a landscape or cityscape within the frame takes a lot of editing, pulling apart, nudging and positioning. I thought I’d share a couple of the drawings I finished this week for a potential commission. It’s a large rooftops scene of Winchester (I’ve done a few already 🙃) but this time presented from the South/South East.

In previous years this could be a very laborious process. Where I would literally rub out, re-draw, cut and paste things until they felt correct. Things are much quicker using the iPad. There’s still lots of hand worked sketching to be done… but it’s now much easier to try those different compositions. The digital layers can be stretched, condensed, chopped and placed on top of one another without destroying my master drawing. Something I’ve had to do plenty of in this project already. If you know Winchester at all, you’ll start to see the key sites of the Cathedral and the College brought closer together to fit the frame. It requires a lot of references, mostly photos I’ve taken in situ.

I’m not sure if either of these will become a painting yet. But the challenge of this early constructing phase can be very rewarding. Hopefully I’ll have some updates to share from this project soon.

If you’d like to discuss a commission you can drop me a line. I also have a private commission guide with general information on available formats and an estimate of cost.

Where would you send an artist to be inspired? What location should I paint next? leave me a suggestion or comment here!

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