Pissarro (left) and Monet
Two from Turner
Bellotto (left) and Canaletto
I often draw in the National Gallery and last week I spent some time studying figures from several different painters. These are some of the sketches I made of incidental figures. All of these figures, although not the main focus of the paintings, have a vital role to play. They add life and scale to the scene. Since the eighteenth century they have been known as staffage.
Below are some examples from my own work.
Above left: Little Boltons (detail). Above right: Pall Mall (detail)
I worked pretty fast on this 24 x 30 inch canvas to try and catch the light before it changed. The whole scene became gradually more blue as the sun moved around and I stopped work just before lunch. After a bite to eat with friends at a nearby cafe I returned to my easel just before the rapidly rising tide reached it. I will go back to the location tomorrow to finish it off – light permitting.
I returned the following morning hoping to finish it off but the light was totally different. I worked a little on the foreshore then left it to finish another day. I am now waiting for a day when the tide is lowest at 11am and with a clear sky but before the leaves come out on the trees. Hopefully that is not too much to ask for. Below you can see the picture as it is at the moment.
Roy Connelly painting at Cookham. Picture: Rowan Griffiths
Its been a while since the snow melted but I thought I would post this photo of me painting at Cookham in Berkshire. I was working on my final picture of the day when I was spotted by photographer Rowan Griffiths.
I have written a brief guide to keeping warm while painting in winter. You can read it here.