Today, after a recent experimentation with acrylic paints and more adventurous brushstrokes, I have returned to my traditional watercolour style, to paint a view of Venice; the canal (Rio dei Mendicanti) by the Campo SS.Giovanni e Paulo. I have drawn the view on the spot in Venice, and painted and drawn it twice since. I do paint from photographs sometimes, but always do a drawing first. I have long since lost the photograph of this view, but I have my drawings, and I use whatever artistic licence I please to produce a composition and colours that appeals to me.What first fascinated me about the view was the chimneys on the roof on the top left of the picture. They are about six feet tall, and really are leaning at rakish angles, looking as if they are about to tumble into the canal! I expect they’ll still be there next time I go.
I painted the picture over two days, and used only four colours; yellow ochre, burnt umber, light red and prussian blue. I wanted a ‘simple’ colour scheme that expressed the atmosphere of Venetian architecture. The painting isn’t really about colour; its about composition, light and reflections. I enjoyed doing it, and am reasonably pleased with it. (I don’t always like my paintings when I’m finished).