Just one more painting of Venice

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I remember saying that as my exhibition quota was pretty well filled, I might relax a bit, and do something experimental, perhaps tackle some portrait work which I have neglected for a long time. I also said that I would probably weaken, and convince myself that I needed another Venice picture for the exhibition.

Well, in fact both are true in a funny sort of way. I could use another Venice picture which are always popular, and yet making something out of the photograph above will be a different sort of a challenge. This was one of many pictures that I took when last there. It was Easter time, and rained a lot. This photograph is especially gloomy, and not what I want to capture in paint.

The subject matter and general composition is fine though. This is a typical quiet backwater of Venice, taken on a Sunday morning, which like so many offers a tranquil retreat away from the crowds. It is rather dreary though, and needs light and deep shade to make the subject matter more interesting.

The problem is always how to work out where the shadows fall. I ended up making a simple cardboard model, which I have not photographed, and then placed it under the spotlight, the position of which I moved continuously.

After I was satisfied with what I had, I then did a very quick sketch in ink and washed in the shadows. The sketch is rough, done without taking measurements, but I think will serve as somewhere to start. Anyway, I will reproduce it now

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As I say, the sketch is rough, but shows me shadows of roof tops projected onto the buildings on the right hand side. Mediterranean blue in the sky and water and bright colours on the lit buildings should, I hope, prove convincing. perhaps too the odd shaft of light catching the boats. It is something to build on

We shall see