I hope that everyone’s enjoying the festive season and managing to spend time with loved ones and to find the time to do the things you love too! I’ll keep this brief because it is Boxing Day and I’m sure that we all have things we’d rather be doing that reading (and writing) blog posts!
One of my childhood memories of spending the festive season with my family is jigsaw puzzles. It was before the vast proliferation of entertainment that exists today, but I remember fondly the time spent together taking on seemingly impossible tasks of jigsaw puzzlery!
All of this came flooding back to me as I undertook another seemingly impossible puzzle of another kind. I visited Montenegro about ten or so years ago with a friend and stayed in the old walled town of Kotor. Whilst rooting through some boxes recently, I came across some old photos and postcards from that trip and one of them, in particular, took my fancy.
About five minutes after starting to sketch this out, I was already regretting my choice but carried on regardless. It took an age to map this out, and I had to do a bit of delicate shading too just to help give some sense of forms.
When it came to the painting, I started with a really weak wash with mixes of burnt sienna, light red and raw sienna all over. These colours provided the unity that I tried to maintain as I gradually built up the patchwork of rooftops. It was as I was doing this that I was struck by a strange sense of deja vu from my childhood of festive jigsaw puzzling.
Painting this felt very different to my usual approach. Part of me quite enjoyed it, another part of me found it incredibly tiresome! I quite like the sense of pattern and semi-abstract quality of this image but it’s not one I’ll be tackling again any time soon.
One of the greatest challenges I had with this was knowing when to stop. There were so many little elements about this that it was just too easy to keep on going back to it again and again. I did leave some areas as loose indications, and some areas are probably a little overworked but hey ho (or should that be ‘hey ho ho ho!’)
This is my final post of 2018 – and marks another year of 52 consecutive Wednesday weekly posts. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thanks to everyone that follows / humours my adventures with watercolour, and especially to those that choose to like or comment. I really do appreciate everyone’s interest and support – thank you all so much, and all best wishes for a happy New Year.