This new watercolour painting of a London street scene came about after a wonderful family day out that we had recently. The weather was beautiful and we’d been treated with tickets to see My Fair Lady at The London Coliseum, which may be more familiar to some as the home of English National Opera.
It felt great to be in London as tourists, just enjoying the atmosphere of the capital on a beautiful summer’s day. Whenever I’m in the area of Trafalgar Square I invariably come over all nostalgic from the years I spent in London, and in particular, my time spent working at the National Portrait Gallery, which is just around the corner from this view. The gallery is currently under wraps as it undergoes a major redevelopment and refurbishment and I’m really looking forward to its reopening, scheduled for the spring of 2023. As much as the changes will surely improve many aspects of the gallery, both for visitors and for the collections, I also can’t help but feel a little sentimental about the gallery as it was when I knew it best!
We were strolling down St Martins Lane towards the theatre when I saw this view and took a risk with the traffic to step into the road and grab a few quick photos.
Usually, I complete a painting in a single sitting, perhaps only coming back to something to make the odd minor adjustment or add in a small detail here or there. With this London street scene, however, circumstances were such that it was painted over the course of a week. This wasn’t at all intentional and I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out considering the somewhat disjointed manner in which it was painted. Maybe I should paint like this more often!