Painting Paris

This painting was inspired by the view from the escalator in the Pompidou Centre in Paris. I intended originally to paint a very simplified picture.

I started with a full palette then reduced it to yellow, violet and blue to pull the painting together better. I darkened the sky, then added detail to it, then made it quite a bit more dramatic.

I had light spilling onto the pavement from two windows but today realised I’d used a cartoon technique and had represented the light by a yellow glow. If you think about it, you can’t actually see light like that. Where it falls you can see the objects it falls on in their full colours, and where it doesn’t fall you see shadows with less or no colour. By knocking the glow back the emphasis is now more on the sky and chimneys, and on the faces of the buildings which delighted me so much. Now there are two theatres of interest- one up on the rooftops, the other way below in the street.


It looks better in the flesh (and at 102 cm x 102 cm the detail is easier to see) are a couple of photos of detail to show you what I mean.

I think I’d like to try the view again with a really really simplified version, almost geometric. Hmmm...isn’t that where I started last time?