List of priorities to focus on for this assignment

  1. Have a focal point
  2. Develop the painting in stages- darkening tone as you go
  3. Use tonal variation to show the contrast in tones
  4. Use tonal variation to suggest recession in the painting
  5. Build painting using ranges of complementary grey
  6. Create mood 

Source picture was a photograph of Staithes that I took myself. It was into the light so the painting would be ‘contre jour’ and limited in colour saturation. 

Landscape painting is something I have always found challenging. I think this is most often because I have lacked a focal point and my attempts to take in a large vista have eluded me. 

I love the work of watercolour artists such as David Curtis and Robert Brindley who have both painted scenes in Whitby and Staithes. I used their work as inspiration. 

I felt my first attempt was a reasonable representation of the scene with some pleasing areas. I liked the rendering of the boats and the dark walls in the middle distance. Less to my liking was the difference in contrast between the walls and the houses and I felt the painting wasn’t into the light.

First Painting

My second attempt went reasonably well and although there are areas I am less than happy with, I prefer the tonal values in this painting. 

I think both paintings work reasonably in their own right, but prefer the second (though can live with the first). 

Second Painting

At attempt at a landscape gas resulted in pleasing paintings. The process of leaving a painting for a while then going back to it is so useful in order to view one’s work objectively.

I love working in complementary greys with accents of colour. I seem incapable of producing anything decent on cheap paper! I feel the need to broaden my approach now by trying plein air paintings. The tonal contrast in the second picture is to my liking and this boldness needs to be developed. 

There’s a struggle between wanting a light airy loose approach in my paintings and having a well-rendered less loose approach. I guess that will work itself out the more I paint. 

Julian Fester

Reference Photo

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