Friday, 20 July 2012

Painting Bath in the rain!

Great Pultney Street in the rain - Oil on canvas 60cm x 40cm

Here's my painting of Bath that I completed over the weekend.   I decided to enter  the bath prize competition again this year as I'd really enjoyed the experience last year.   The way it works is that when you enter they ask you to paint a specific  location in Bath for your first painting and then if you want to enter more paintings they can be from where ever you want.   You can either paint on location or make studies / take photos and then paint from your studio.  My location this year was Great Pultney street, just down from the Pultney bridge.  Here's how my painting progressed....

I arrived about midday in Bath and made a start soon as I could.   I had a wander along Great Pultney street and considered a few different views before initially deciding on the view towards the Holburne museum which you can see I've started here. There was a lovely hexagonal post box that I wanted to include as it added a splash of colour to the image as well as being a lovely feature.

After about an hour and a half of painting though the heavens really opened and in spite of my  umbrella and waterproof jacket  I got really soaked and the painting took quite a battering too so feeling exhausted, ill and wet I gave up for the day.  

When I returned the next day it was raining again and  the composition I'd started felt awkward so I decided to have a fresh start and this time looked in the opposite direction towards the centre of Bath.  

There was something about the slightly miserable view down the street with the scaffolding and blue plastic coverings  that appealed to me that rainy morning so I set about painting for about 5 or 6 hours in the rain from under my umbrella.   The one advantage of painting in the rain was that the light stayed pretty even throughout the day and only in the last hour did the sun come out a little.  I think I must have painted non stop for 6 -7 hours with just a few breaks for conversations with passers by and a very grateful cup of tea from the man at no 60! This is how the painting looked at the end of the second day.

Here's me painting on my third day in Bath, as you can see the sun had come out by then so I had to try and remember how it all looked in the rain!  I completed the remaining sections, mainly in the foreground of cars, railings and people in about 5 hours then took it to the gallery to hand in.


  1. Really Interesting stuff. Glad you are putting these links on Facebook and I hope people take the time to look at your site as it is fantastic. My instincts are telling me to buy one of your paintings soon as I can sense a good investment. Keep at it Paul. Jo.

  2. Thank's Jo, Hope you're instincts are right!
    I've been trying to keep the blog updated a bit more regularly since June and I've been posting something each week so far. It's probably a bit easier though in the summer as I've not got so much teaching and I'm therefore painting a bit more.