I arrived in the class last week with the sounds and images from the London Underground imprinted on my brain.  Straight away, I tried to depict these is charcoal and paint, as shown in my previous post.

However, this meant that I neglected the works begun the previous week (  In the last half hour, I was encouraged to go back to these and work in a new layer.  Painting upside down (the picture, not me) I picked out and strengthened pre existing textures and tones.  I tried to maintain a balance between abstract and illustration.  Here is that next version, still drying.

The reference point for all these recent works has been a book of the work of John Virtue.  This British artist works only in black and white, eschewing even greys, building land and cityscapes in which recognisable features emerge from smoky abstraction.  Google images have a great selection to peruse.  I found a page in an academic blog which sets a landscape by Virtue in the context of his contemporaries:

There is much more to develop on this theme.

8 responses to “Cityscape

    • In principle I agree. I think that knowing when to stop is a key skill in an accomplished artist. But when you are learning, it is so easy to stop too soon, to get precious about what you have achieved. The bottom line is that all of this is junk, doodles, rough sketches, learning material. Great art it ain’t. It helps to have someone encouraging me to take risks. If I wreck it, so what? Otherwise I will not develop that skill of knowing when a painting is finished.
      Another way of looking at this is that hobby art tends to be safe art. We learn some skills and stay in our safe space. I don’t want that, personally. I’d rather experiment and risk destroy something.
      Actually the blog helps – i can post the earlier versions – if its destroyed, it was not lost.
      Thanks for your comments BTW

  1. I like this painting and I am drawn to black and white work. I was fascinated with the work of Alfred Leslie the last few years but have not spent much time to devote to trying some of these, myself. Here is a link to an article I found on him a couple years back that features a few of his black and whites : . I finally found a second hand copy of his book that features his black and white watercolors. I peruse it often.

  2. Anyone reading this … Please do follow the link cited by lesliepaints above. It includes some beautiful work and a most entertaining sequence of comments about the precise circumstances of their creation.

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