Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Paintings of London IV (The making of "Evening Light, Leadenhall Market II" )

This is another painting that featured in my just concluded group exhibition of Paintings of London at Enid Lawson Gallery. The painting is another after work series on Leadenhall Market, my first one can be seen HERE.

Evening Light, Leadenhall Market II, 24" x 30", Oil on Canvas, 2011 SOLD

The Leadenhall Market is a beautiful spot in the City of London and I'll love to do more on this series.

Below are some steps I went about to complete this piece. This is not a step by step demo, most of what I have here are just photos of different stages of the work. It is very hard to have a proper outlined demo of complicated paintings like this but at least it gives a clearer view of how I go about these busy paintings. I never have a set way I do them, and most of the time I only decide after starting, on how I am going to go about the whole process.


I have gone straight with paint from the start here, no charcoal or coloured pencil sketching, just an initial sketch done in burnt sienna on my pre-coloured ground-I have used a warm orange-brown scheme for this. I work very quickly in broad strokes to quickly capture the essence of the scene. the architecture means a lot to me, it's what makes me love the place. So, apart from the figures, I spend a lot of time planning the colours and perspective of the whole structure. As you can see broad strokes of colour are laid in, I do this to quickly have a clear view of how the whole scene is going to look.


I work more on the architecture here, I love architecture! It's as simple as that, so when a building has a bit of beauty to offer-I get to grips with it and make sure I enjoy all the mouldings and pillars. I don't like the whole thing to look overworked and all technical but I just try and enjoy the process and deal with each phase in terms of light and shade, warm and cool. It's a game and if played well always results in reality. Look at the difference between the front of the structure and the part that is underneath, the part underneath is the same colour but it has been cooled down to indicate the lack of light reaching that area. I leave all the figures out at this stage but you can see indications in sketch form, of where they are going to be.


The first few figures emerge from this stage and I work on them from left to right, working in a shape by shape manner and making sure each figure is finished before moving to the next one. This helps to clarify my thoughts on how and where the next figure is going to be. I also work on their surroundings at the same time, making sure they don't end up looking like cut-outs on the scene but fully part of the scene. The figures in urban scenery must belong to the scene-if they don't belong to the scene the painting will end up looking a bit weird. In order to avoid this, I work on the figures and their surroundings for this piece at the same time. The process is slow but rewarding in the end.


Even more figures emerge here, and more detailing to the architecture that surrounds them. It's always a delight to work on these areas and watch the figures emerging from ghost-like sketches. It is this sense of, "not knowing what to expect" that keeps me focused while working on scenes like this, with this method.


Finally I add all the figures and refine all parts of the scene, working backwards and forwards to make sure the whole scene vibrates as one. I tune the colours to keep them all within the right range to avoid a sudden leap of tone or temperature. Then, to give it a sense of spark-I add spots of light in random places to create a bit of buzz in the areas where the figures converge in the background.


Unknown said...

Beautiful work Adenbanji, Lots of lovely colour and detail in there, especially those figures. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and methods :)

adebanji said...

Thanks Michael!

V. Deshmukh said...

Lovely painting Adebanji. Its really difficult to choose one out of the two you have done of the Leadenhall. Both are exquisite. Thanks for sharing the method and insights.
I couldn't come online for a few days and missed your previous posts. I just loved "Morning Light, Albert Bridge II".
I hope you had a great exhibition with your lovely paintings of London. I wont be surprising if people line up next to you as you paint outdoors to buy the painting as soon as you are done.
Best wishes,

adebanji said...

Thanks Vinayak!

Unknown said...

¡¡Wuou!! Tienes muy buenas pinturas, al principio cuando vi el blog pensé de algunas que eran fotos. Están chulísimas y se puede aprender mucho ya que pones el proceso. ¡Magnísificas! Y con el formato que escoges a mi personalmente me impresiona aún más. ¡Felicidades por tus obras!

Te lo traduzco con un traductor que los idiomas no son lo mío, nunca fui buena para estudiarlos:
I translate it to you with a translator that the languages are not the mine, never was good to study them:

Wuou!! You have very good paintings, at the beginning when I saw the blog thought of some that were photos. They are lovely and can learn a lot since you show the process. Glorious! And with the format that choose to my personally impresses me still more. Happinesses by your works!

adebanji said...

Thanks Olalla!

Art, Love and Life said...

Tremendous piece of work. Did you get the perspective right the first time or did you change it? I'm just wondering how you did that without a sketch to start. Thanks for sharing your approach.

adebanji said...

Thanks Ray! For this piece I just went straight with the brush and colour, I didn't need to make any adjustments. The perspective isn't bang on correct but I was happy taking it on in this bold way.