Needs must, however, and I started with a lovely photo taken of the roof tops of Manchester.
I suppose that I was mainly attracted by the colours. I love the orange and blue combination and thought that there were some interesting shapes. I did not stop to consider that with my limited experience of painting buildings, I should opt for something a lot less complex!!
Because of the complex nature of the subject and the necessity of getting the buildings upright and with the perspective reasonably accurate, I resorted to a very careful drawing. (this is never a problem when painting flowers!)
I omitted the buildings in the very top distance of the photo as I wanted to include a bit of sky, and left out some detail where I thought it would not help to keep the painting a bit loose...always my intention although it does not always work...and I omitted the finer details of the stone carvings and the brickwork.
As usual, I added a simple wash over lots of the paper, but am sorry not to have a photo of this as I totally forgot to use the camera which I had, this time, remembered to put in my bag.
I used Transluscent Gold and Cobalt Blue for the wash, painting it loosely where these colours appeared most strongly in the source photo. I also consciously washed in vertical areas to emphasis the height of the buildings.
It was then just a case of mixing earth colours...Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Quinachridone Rust etc to paint the various parts of the buildings. Where I needed a bit more detail, I used a non-permanent Sepia fine liner, which I immediately washed over with clean water to blur the edges. This also had the added bonus of creating those 'dirty' areas on stonework where it has weathered, as the sepia mixed with the blue gives a lovely greenish tinge. I used a similar technique with the window areas and the blue edges of the roofs.
When the painting was finished, I again used the fine liner to lightly pick out small areas of the brick and stone work, again washing over it whilst still damp to soften the edges as much as possible, but still leaving a hint of the detail.
As a final touch I darkened slightly some of the shadow areas and it seemed finished.
Not as loose as I had hoped, but still a lovely combination of colours and I am quite pleased with the result.
As usual, it was painted on Fabriano Artistico Extra White, 300g Rough and the final painting measures approx.30cm x 40cm.