A Street in Florence–the finished painting

A Street in Florence–latest version

So here it is, the recent version, which I had attempted in a different style, but despite which turned out much the same as my version of four years ago.

As a group we were trying to produce something in the style of Tom Haugamat, the illustrator. Not someone I knew but impressed with his work when I looked him up. Most of our group were working on ipads and produced some very credible if not impressive work.

Mine veered off course as my own style crept back in. I still kept the painting simpler, that is less detailed, than my norm, and I fancied started to have a cubist feel. I thought that maybe that is how cubism started to evolve. Not that I would have been clever enough to develop a major movement like cubism, but I might recognise it happening

Anyway, this is how it turned out, and others can judge, as always

The streets are deserted today in our local neighbourhood despite the warm weather. We are becoming more disciplined in our efforts to check this pandemic. I took a short walk this afternoon, which we are still allowed to do, for exercise, just one walk.

It was very eerie out there. I took some pictures for a possible painting. I don’t usually do social commentary, but maybe something as a record would be of interest one day. I have lived for nearly eighty years, and never experienced anything like this. I wonder how many people are thinking the same

There was something very like this happening in 1665, when the bubonic plague travelled from London to a village in Derbyshire called Eyam, in a bolt of cloth which had been ordered by a cloth finisher in the village

When the cloth was unrolled the infection spread to the cloth finisher and he died within three days. The infection spread quickly, people died and survivors buried them, in gardens and in fields. The village elders closed the road in and out of the village, total lockdown. People left food and supplies outside of the village

Gradually the plague burned itself out. Not everyone died because they never do in an epidemic, hence this dreadful expression herd immunity. One woman, a farmer’s wife buried her husband and three sons in a field. She survived and went to live afterwards with her sister in Sheffield.

Today Eyam is known as The Plague Village and is a tourist attraction.

Winter Street Scene Initial Sketch

High Street Winter

This is by no means the finished drawing, but is plenty for me to transfer onto watercolour paper. I like to leave some freehand drawing still to do on the final sketch before painting. It seems to preserve the spontaneity somehow.

I have dressed the figures suitably for the winter, thanks to online catalogues. There are Christmas references and of course there will be snow which won’t show properly until the colour goes in

A lot more detail to go in, as I say. Some buildings are still to be completed, and there will be more figures further down the High Street. Not too many so that the composition looks cluttered, but hopefully enough to make the street look busy

Not only do I have the tedious job of moving the sketch onto watercolour paper, but I must soon start thinking about colours.

The sky will be a wintry cloudy blue. The time will be early afternoon, so still some watery winter sunshine with long shadows. The painting will not be grey. Colours are visible. Shadows should be blue especially on the snow. I need some oranges and reds. Brickwork and roof tiles will help. Some of the snow will be sliding off the rooftops, as a very gradual thaw has set in

Clothing? Some olive greens perhaps and some browns. One or two red anoraks dotted up the High Street. Also one or two red Christmas hats and some red spots on Christmas trees and in shop windows

Let us hope that all goes to plan

Preparing the Winter Street Scene

Guildford High Street

This is the photograph that I am going to use as a reference for my winter street scene. I may have already mentioned that I have been asked to do this by a national charity, to be used as a Christmas card for fund-raising, so rather thrilled to be involved.

I have already used this photograph to produce a hot weather painting, similar to what is already depicted. That worked well and sold recently from my web site. You can see it if you want in my gallery. I now have to transform it completely, and all I can use is imagination, which for me, is never easy.

I have to add snow. Well, that is ok. I have done that many times, and that is fun, so I will enjoy doing that. I now have to imagine everyone in warm weather gear. The weather here is warming up slowly, and people are starting to walk around in light clothing. Already I cannot remember what people look like in heavy coats and hats, so I have been looking at web sites of winter overcoats for women and men, as well as hats and boots

I did some sketches straight off the screen. They are very rough so I will have to ask you not to be too judgmental as they are just to use as a guide when I put figures into the painting. I may even change some of the figures altogether, although I think the three in the front centre work quite well

I am attaching, I hope, my squiggles on winter overcoat designs and winter hat styles.

This is as far as I have got at the moment, so will come back when I have something more to say, which will hopefully  be a first draft tonal sketch of the whole scene

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Sketches of Winter Coats for Women and Hats for men and Women

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