Watercolour painting of a cyclist and traffic in Picadilly Circus, London, by artist John Haywood

My Latest Picadilly Circus watercolour painting, this time by bike!

You may recall this watercolour painting of London’s Picadilly Circus from a few weeks ago:

Watercolour painting of Picadilly Circus in London by artist John Haywood
The hustle and bustle of Picadilly Circus, London.

Well, I so enjoyed painting this, and how it turned out, that I thought I’d do another painting based on a similar view. I’d been fortunate to happen across this view at just the right time of day to capture quite a few images of the sinking sun streaming along Picadilly (which is the street on the left of this painting, along which you’ll find the Royal Academy amongst many other delights!)

Another great thing about scenes like this is the constant hustle and bustle of people and traffic moving about. The main architectural elements remain static but in front of them, the scene is constantly changing, presenting new elements and creating new possibilities for compositions.

Here’s how I got on:

Watercolour painting of a cyclist and traffic in Picadilly Circus, London, by artist John Haywood
Cycling through Picadilly Circus, London,

As before, I enjoyed painting this view and the different elements, especially the cyclist in the foreground, presented some interesting challenges for me. While there was a few touch and go moments, I’m really pleased with how this turned out.

And here’s the two images side by side for comparison:

I do like both paintings and, while I’m reluctant to choose between the two, and it’s not as if anyone’s making me choose, if I had to, I’d go for the second version. All creative and artistic merits aside, I think it brings back memories of my own time spent cycling through the streets of London.

Starling Studio Exhibition as part of Brighton’s Open Houses exhibition

I think that this painting will be the last one to make it into my forthcoming exhibition at Starling Studios. I really need to put down my brushes now and focus all my efforts on getting everything ready for the exhibition! I still have so much to do, and so little time to do it all in!

I’ll be setting up my part of the exhibition next Thursday ahead of a private view on Friday evening. I’ll be at Starling Studios in person all day on Saturday 14th May from 11-5pm and on Sunday 15th from 2.30pm until 5pm. Please do drop by if you find yourself in the vicinity! The exhibition will continue the following weekend, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd from 11am-5pm but I’ll be away that weekend on my long-awaited and much anticipated weekend masterclass with Alvaro Castagnet!

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Thoughts on My Latest Picadilly Circus watercolour painting, this time by bike!

4 thoughts on “My Latest Picadilly Circus watercolour painting, this time by bike!”

  1. I reckon the second is better, too, John. The direction of travel of the vehicles gives a real feeling of activity; the way the sun blinds the viewer to the top of the building; the colour of light in the sky; the clearing of pedestrians so that the sun can reflect directly off the pavement; the hours of calculations into the exact perspective of the bicycle shadow. All improvements. Of course, I’d suggest painting it with the sun behind you so that you could pick out a bit more detail but that’s just me. Give my love to Alvaro.

    1. Hi Rob and thanks so much for this most effusive response! One day, I promise I will try to paint a fully lit scene (although even as I’m typing this I’m beginning to perspire!). I shall of course pass on your best regards to Alvaro!

    1. Hi Al and thanks so much for this and yes, quite agree with both those points! Hope all’s good with you and yes, I’m really excited about the workshop with Alvaro – Can’t believe that I booked this almost 3 years ago!

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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