St Nicholas Church stands on the top of a hill in Laindon, Essex and is visible from almost anywhere in the villages and towns around Basildon. In 1994 I did two pencil sketches of the Church, a view from the north drawn standing on the footbridge over the A127, the other a view from the South (westish) near the corner of St Nicholas Lane and Pound Lane looking north. In 2012 I did a further pencil sketch from the south (eastish) on the open space running up from St Nicholas Lane looking north. These sketches form the basis for the paintings on this page.
- On the left a traditional watercolor painted in 1994 on A5 paper.
On the right an early attempt at acrylic colour on Galleria paper 10″x7″. Painted in 2009 using the paint as a watercolour method. There is a lack of detail but that does seem to give the painting something.
- Left. A watercolour using only sepia and olive green. This is the view from the North. The colour combination is intriguing.
Right. My first attempt at using tinted charcoal. The composition took second place to exploring what can be done with the medium. Later work with the charcoal has produced better results. See Upshire Church elsewhere on these pages.
- These two watercolour paintings were done in this vignette style because I wanted the Church to stand out from the paper rather than getting lost in the background. The lozenge shape was painted ‘on the fly’ without guidelines and while the vignette style has some sort of appeal the implementation was not as good as I would like. The shadow down the right margin of the left hand picture is a photographic mistake!
- This view of the church from open land to the south made use of a preformed ellipse to form the vignette. To draw the ellipse I took a strip of paper and placed a mark (a) on the strip. I added two further marks, one (b) being half the longest diameter from the first mark and the other (c) half the length of the shortest diameter. I place a cross on the paper to mark the centre of the ellipse. Drawing this about 1cm down from the centre line of the paper gave better composition. Then using the strip of paper on the lines of the cross place the marks (b) and (c) on the lines of the cross and put a light pencil mark where ever mark (a) appears on your paper. By moving the position on the strip of paper you can eventually draw a pretty good ellipse. When you have finished erase the cross but leave the marks defining the ellipse. Paint to those marks to give the the vignette on the paper.
- These two views in the vignette style are the same scene painted from Pound Lane looking north. The painting on the left worked OK but the roof left something to be desired. I hope I corrected this in the painting on the right.
- This drawing of St Nick’s Church is the view from the south. It is a line and wash drawing in black Indian Ink.
It is interesting on reflection to note that the clouds have been drawn in with ink, whereas in reality there is every chance that the clouds were in fact lighter than the sky around them. Does this detract from the drawing? Is it a natural instinct to do?
On the right a picture using cmyk acrylic colours. For more details click here to find the detail.