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The Sant Pau Gates

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Sant Paus Gates, Painting of Sant Pau Hospital by Jenny Armitage

Sant Pau's Gates (watercolor 17 x 22) $700

I was fascinated by the shadows cast by wrought iron gates in front of the Sant Pau Hospital Moderisme in Barcelona, Spain.

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Pub Talk II: Half Poured and Half Painted

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Pub Talk II (9 x 13) $200

Pub Talk II (9 x 13) $200

In this version of Pub Talk I tightened up the composition a little by moving everyone closer together and tying the couples at the far table together with the painting on the back wall. I reduced the number of archways to simplify the pouring process.

I began the picture by painting the people tables and the picture at the far end of the room. This was really the whole lower half of the painting. I used cerulean blue for the older men’s hair and the shadows in the faces. Cerulean blue was much more satisfactory for this purpose than phthalo blue was in Pub Talk I. I dropped cerulean blue and phthalo blue into damp burnt sienna for the darker hair.

For the rest of the direct painting I used the same colors as before. I used layered washes of raw and burnt sienna for the skin again. The clothes are all various combinations of phthalo blue, burnt sienna and raw sienna. The tables are burnt sienna washed over cobalt blue.

direct paint

direct paint

Then I masked the lower half on the picture and poured.

It’s important when pouring to decide what colors need to predominate where and which direction to tip the board after the pour. I tried to place the yellows and reds along the left hand (sunlit) side of the arches. I placed the blues to the outside. I tipped up rather than at a diagonal because I wanted a peaceful cozy feeling.

I used raw sienna, burnt sienna, and phtalo blue for the first two pours. On the third pour I substituted dioxazine purple for the phthalo blue. On the final pour I used burn sienna, cobalt blue and dioxazine purple.

After the Third Pour

After the Third Pour

Removing the mask lifted a fair amount of raw and burn sienna as well was cerulean blue. I rewashed the peoples skin with these two colors. Then I darkened the ceiling fixtures and the archway walls.

Mask Off

Mask Off

Finished. And I do prefer it to the direct paint only version, although I think that may be in part because I got better at the people with each version.


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Pub Talk

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Pub Talk (10 x 14) $175

Pub Talk (10 x 14) $125

I love to paint people and I love the interior light of dark restaurants with the sun streaming in through the side windows. Unfortunately if I sketch or photograph people in bars or restaurants they stop acting naturally. I have developed a sneaky system for photographing them. If I use the LED screen as a view finder and turn off the flash, people think I am reviewing previously taken photos rather than taking new ones. I took the photos for this scene in just that way.

I tried pouring this scene first. The result had lovely color and value, but it was rougher than I liked. I loved the light, but didn’t think I could pour it with greater clarity.

Poured Version of Pub Talk

Poured Version of Pub Talk

So I did a little sketching and then painted directly with the same colors I used for the pour: phthalo blue, burnt sienna, raw sienna, dioxazine purple, and cobalt blue.

Pub Talk Sketch

Pub Talk Sketch

I still like the beautiful poured background in my first attempt, and I may do this one again tomorrow using directly painted figures and a poured background.


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