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  • Writer's pictureDanny McShane

Decisions, decisions...

I painted a view of Fittie, Aberdeen yesterday (half imperial, 22x15") and felt it needed something, so once I finished I thought I'd take pics of the steps along the way. Here's yesterday's state of play first:

And this is my reference photo (my own, with some pencil mark up)

I tried to be true to 'one touch/paint everything once' but wasn't happy with the contrast, and was sorely tempted to put something like a boat in that foreground space. In reality it isn't accessible for a boat on a trailer and the ground going down to the sea isn't a slipway but a tiled revetment with a dwarf wall... but that wouldn't have mattered. So I took a photo of my painting as was and printed it a few times at A4 and played with these, darkening the gable ends and sketching out a boat, then two boats, then a car....

Of all of these I quite liked the car, and definitely the darker gables, so I developed the shadows and then drew a car at half imperial scale on a piece of scrap to see if I still liked it against the tweaked painting (it's meant to be an old Fiat 500 in case you're wondering - I was thinking dark yellow...or a blue from the sky...).

But moving it around (I had three shots at trying to scale it for different positions in the perspective) I decided I liked the empty space better after all...

So this is where I ended up -darker gables and walls, darkened background hill, shadows under gutters and into the square window; an apex roof tile line and a partial glaze over the palest sand. I've found printing paintings and playing on them very helpful for this kind of decision making. Thanks for reading! :o)

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