"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Monday, January 18, 2010

London Calling

"Rainy Day in London"
By James Swanson / Travelers Jim & Dar
16" x 20" oil on Canvas

See the Journey of this Painting.

London Calling and it's about time! A historic city of this magnitude, means a real nice historic painting for this project. And what better way of seeing this old town than with an old friend.

Big Ben taken from Traveler Jim & Dar's 1972 trip

The Travelers Tale: New Travelers Jim and Dar are old friend of mine that have been telling me for months that he and his wife traveled around the UK back in the early 70's and have slides of the trip that I could use for the project.

Jim from the 1972 trip

Dar from the trip.

Well, I finally met up with our new Travelers Jim and Dar a while back to take a look at what they had and hear their memories of the trip.

I've known Jim for a long time as one of the best art directors in Chicago advertising, and Dar is a design shop all to herself. I expected to see some pretty great photos from their trip, and wasn't disappointed.

Both these folks, besides having a great eye have a keen sense of history. They've been avid Revolutionary war Re-en actors for years, traveling around the U.S. for shows and battles.

A blue rental, but not Jim & Dar's.

The Travelers Tale: One of Jim and Dar's many stories from this trip was about the color of their rental car. Jim said it was the most awful blue. Even for the 70's it was a disgusting color, and they had it for two weeks. Jim remembers trying to find lodging for the night and this old Scottish land lady coming out of her house to tell him how ugly that car was, and to move it for she didn't have to look at it.
Traveler Painting: "Rainy Day in London"
I've been painting all around the UK for a while waiting for the right moment to take on London. For weeks I've been painting places, inching closer to this town. And now I'm here and ready to paint.

The photo that I'm working from is one of the first slides Traveler Jim showed me. In fact he had it picked out as one I should look at, good pick Jim. A rainy day in London seems like a prefect place to start seeing this city.

Sketch: The hardest part to this painting was scanning the slide to get an image to work with. The slides are over 30 years old, and took a bit of work to pull some color out of them. Then I
broken down the photo into simple line and shape. The design is a one point perpective design. Everything shooting back to single point.

Sketch on Canvas: I'm trying out a new roll of canvas on thid painting. I had some good luck a time back on this canvas in the stretched form. Using a mix of Burnt Umber and Cobalt Blue, I tone the canvas and drew in the sketch for the start.

Adding the darks and drawing in the window shapes.

Working in the structure of the painting.

Artists Tip: Painting Thick over Thin colors. Usually dark colors are painted thin and underneath high key thick colors. Lights really shine when put on thickly. Another reason for thick over thin is, if you don't the paint well crack at some point, because of the different drying time rates.

Putting in the buildings and the light sky.

Putting in the flower stand boxes.

The whole painting is pretty much blocked in.

Most of the buildings are done and only the people are left to be done.

Done, it feels like you need an umbrella I think.

Details from the painting.
Framed Painting
"Rainy Day in London"
By James Swanson / Travelers Jim & Dar
16" x 20" oil on Canvas

Thanks to Jim & Dar for the use of their trip slides. I was amazed by how much they remembered about that trip, and hope to paint a few more from it. London is such a great place that I'll be painting a few more of it.

If you have a trip that was interesting let me know here or at www.theartistandthetraveler.org

Until next time Tally HO!

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Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.