For my first blog for Places North West I've chosen a photograph and a painting. On a recent visit to the Liverpool Biennial with our students we walked down to the Tate at Albert Dock. It was really interesting to revisit the view I had painted last year from then unfinished photographs of Mann Island, the new development by architects Broadway Malyan. I was quite surprised by how similar the painting and the photographs were.
Click to enlarge
For this sort of painting I work firstly in pencil, drawing very precisely. Then the drawing is printed onto watercolour paper and I layer up a series of loose watercolour washes. I try to contrast the detailed drawing with a more expressive watercolour style.
The reason I am so drawn to this view is the complexity and layering of the city…dock, ferry, Victorian building, modern architecture at its most inscrutable (as an architect I really like it, but I can appreciate it gets a mixed reaction from the general public) – and the historic backdrop of the Pier Head's Three Graces. I have quite an emotional response to this view and would really like to do some more paintings in this area. I am setting up a Manchester Urban Sketchers group (see www.urbansketchers.org), and hope to organise a Liverpool urban sketching day sometime next year. Do get in touch if you're interested in joining us.