Anatomy of a Stone Wall Painting
I’ve been wanting to create this picture for a while now and when I found myself with a long thin strip of spare watercolour paper, it seemed like the perfect time.
I went up the lane and took a series of panoramic photos of stone walls like this one.
Once I got home, I started to map out my wall in non-water soluble ink. I find this stage helpful because it gives a backbone to the picture. Later I’ll be adding layers and layers of water soluble ink along with dashes of pastel and hard drawn lines, so these lines that never run are essential for giving the picture a sense of cohesion.
Here you can see some of the wall has been sketched out in non-soluble ink and towards the left I’ve begun to add some water soluble ink to the top stones (I get bored doing just one thing so I’m constantly switching between the two).
Then I just continued working in more layers of ink as the painting developed, constantly looking for areas that needed more contrast or interest. With a painting like this, it’s easy for it to become ‘samey’ and boring, but I think the key is to work to make each stone different – because that’s how they are in real life.
Here’s the painting as it progressed:
And here’s the final version that I just finished:
Apologies for the poor quality photos, but this is far too wide for my scanner and hard to capture in a photo (again because of the width).
I can’t tell you how much fun this was for me. I’m absolutely sure that sounds insane to some of you, but something about the subject matter and the medium just come together perfectly when it comes to these walls. I am thinking about doing a series of wall paintings, some with gates or stiles or barns, but all long and thin like this one. It just seems the perfect way to capture and communicate how beautiful they are.
I am always my own worst critic, and my pictures rarely come out the way I intended, but this one worked almost exactly as I had imagined it. It’s such a thrill when that happens.
Thanks for looking and please do share if you want to 🙂