Painting London bridges is for a client in Singapore. It was painted on Commission and is called “Shimmer Sunset”
How I paint: The brief was about painting London bridges as well as a London skyline, whilst painting London bridges: Tower Bridge, Blackfriers Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Cannon St Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The bridges represent the exchange of ideas and trade. I was sent photos of the client’s room, with images of the other art to make sure the colour palette would work well in the setting. I then produced a couple of sketches in pen and ink to suggest a layout and with client approval started work. I prepared the background, painting and layering the sky with colours to make a warm sunshine blend. I then sent this for approval before the next layer of buildings and bridges were added.
Spurred on by approval, my next task was to build the composition and I referred to the sketches I made and begin to paint. I did not think too much just painted and flowed with ideas as I worked. This is the easiest way to be creative and the art has a spontaneity this way. This layer was then left to dry and then the painting of London bridges were added. I used photos (I take photos whenever I see something beautiful or to capture light on a building so have many images of London landmarks and ideas for inspiration) as a reference point to get the structural shapes of the bridges and then just painted. I took out a lot of detail this was the most time consuming part of creating the art. In reality the bridges are painted lightly so they appear to float but it took a while to achieve this result and it was more about what I took out and did not paint to create that effect. I experimented with the reflections until I was happy with the results. I wait for layers to dry when working in oils as then you can work quickly ontop and without fear of ruining the blends underneath. If I choose I can take off a new layer with minimal negative effect whilst the paint is still wet. Some colours like yellow are harder to remove and they create a residue but generally I use this technique to build up reflections but putting on and taking off oil. I wipe and smudge with a cloth and my hands as well as with wet and dry brushes. This form of pure creativity is very near to play and I am focused in the moment when I paint.
To see more of my commissions and sold work see “on the wall” https://www.sarasherwood.co.uk/on-the-wall/
I will be exhibiting at Surrey Contemporary Art Fair 23-25 February https://contemporaryartfairs.co.uk/surrey-2