This is the drawing so far of the boat I was commissioned to paint. Rather faint I am afraid, not only because it’s in pencil but also because she has had a wash of phthalo blue and cobalt mix. Some orange and vermillion went in to the tops of the boats to give that evening sun look, but that will need strengthening
I have already sketched this scene just to realise the composition and to get that agreed. This is the real thing. Just a tad apprehensive, as although I have painted boats enough times, this would be the first boat portrait that I have tackled.
So much of the boat is white, and not even many shadows to relieve the situation. The vessel is beautiful, streamlined and highly polished, in fact all the things that don’t work so well in watercolour. A rough-textured old steamer, dirty and rusty, with plenty of smoke really lets the watercolourist’s imagination run riot.
But we don’t have that. We have a sleek yacht instead. In the background of the reference photograph which I haven’t published here, are a row of houses, which were not only superfluous, but actually crowded the composition, and didn’t look good against the boats. I have left them out altogether, and I have not regretted doing so. The depth of the painting has increased whilst still preserving the look of a marina
So for the moment I shall just carry on building up the colours on the items that matter. The yacht centre stage of course is the star attraction and needs to come forward
We shall see how this goes
3 thoughts on “St Katherine’s Dock Commission”
Yes, it think most artists prefer old and knotty or shadowed to gleaming and new! The I apprehension that comes with doing a commission well! Good Luck. I am looking forward to seeing how this comes along.
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Thank you Emma I will publish come what may, the finished result.. My first portrait of a really lovely boat, which is being bought as a present for the proud owner, so I am nervous of the reception. Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through all this anxiety. Certainly not for the money, I think it is just an inability to day no!
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All commission are like that, just remember that they would not have asked you to do a commission if they didn’t like your style! It’s nice to be asked to do a commission, quite a compliment but there’s certainly an added pressure. I am always relieved when the painting has had a good reception.