painting road signs in primary colours

While painting the previous version of this I was struck by the concentration and care the painter was taking over this work.  So I tried to capture the mixture of tension and relaxed confidence in his hands.

This watercolour is on Fabriano and is 500 x 350 mm.

This paper can take absolutely no beating.  It seems anything more than the most gentle worrying with a brush rubs the surface off.  Also it has hardly any seizing so the colour soaks in quite quickly.

There is a whole team of support staff in the harbour – each with different coloured shirts.  The community in Kalk Bay supply the security, maintenance and cleaning staff.  It is all quite pleasant.

14 thoughts on “painting road signs in primary colours

  1. Wow. Excellent reasoning for making this more detailed and careful. BUT. I absolutely can’t stop staring at the one in the previous post which I have to say is my favorite of the two!

    • Hi Leslie – this is such valuable feedback for me. My desire is to find out what makes the first painting more appealing. It was the same with the Ethan doing an Ollie painting, and others. mmmm – what an exciting loop in the path!
      Thank you for your candour.

  2. I love his arms! So beautiful and defined. His hands too. I like how you captured his concentration which you talked about in the previous post.

    Your figures are so good!

  3. What makes the first one more appealing, to me, is the more active application of your paint. It is like I can see where your brush started and ended, Stephen. I am becoming very comfortable with your style, know how much you admire Reid and have really concentrated on what you are doing. I have found, in many instances, that artists seem to like pieces where they can see how you used your brush and pencil. Other viewers tend to like the more real the more detailed. Does that help? I know it is an overgeneralization. Sorry.

    • Thanks Leslie – I appreciate this input.
      It is very useful for me. I find it so difficult to give this kind of input and so I value your attention and the experience you bring to it.
      This is such a rich and complex endeavour, this art.
      It is easy to get lost in the decisions to be made.
      Ultimately it is for the artist to say “This is what I am trying to show and how I want to present myself and (by the way – for me right now) this is how much I want to charge for it”. This is all part of the process of growing as an artist, as much as the technique. I feel very comfortable with your comments. They help me to see the different paths rather than point me down a particular one.
      It is all an interesting part of this journey. And for me it is wonderful to have found a small group of fellow travelers who are able to say “we have been there and this is what we saw”. So it is great to have you alongside from time to time as you do.
      This is a special gift and you give it so freely.
      Thank you my friend.

      I am off to Marisa with a pile of paintings right now – I am going to juggle frames a little to save costs if I can.
      And I have a bunch of my work in the car. (I have time for a quick surf first … (o: )

  4. Hi Stephen,
    This is a great figure study. The fellow looks so natural in his pose – and it’s not an easy one, either. Anatomically correct is hard to get, but you’ve done it and it looks so effortless. I know it’s not.
    Good going and good luck with the upcoming show.

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