Working simultaneously on New York and Venice skylines, old and new, cool and warm, acrylic versus oil

13 Nov 2013
large scale study of view from the top of the rock

It has been a long journey to get any time at all to focus on some studio work that is not on commission, but I think I am finally ready to embark upon some decent-sized studio pieces over the winter months. I had not enjoyed the wonderful views from the Campanile in Venice until this most recent trip in October, and it offers a great counterpoint to the views from the Rockefeller building which I have painted before but not as large…. Here is the NY view, in progress:

large scale study of view from the top of the rock

I am really excited about doing this in acrylic paint, too. The Venice one is likely to be a more traditional handling, nice thick marks of oil paint to render the receding slabs of the buildings. The difficulty is in finding marks to indicate the huge amount of detailed information, without letting the eye get stuck anywhere for too long. It’s a bit of a puzzle, too, as there are inevitably distortions in the fairly wide angle, which need to be resolved in the drawing. With Venice, this is less pronounced because I have not been too greedy about including everything. However, it’s a different story with New York. I really wanted to get a sense of both the Hudson and the East rivers, so I have swept the composition out left and right. And because all the buildings are on the grid system, all those horizontals are twisting up and away off the horizontal the further away from the centre you go, hence you get that sort of fish-eye lense effect. It’s interesting to tackle it though.

More on progress to follow in due course….