WIP - Completed! Belle Vue Park

Posted by Catherine Cains on

Hello again! 👋

In my last blog post I was about half way through this painting and now I think I’m done 😁 Love that feeling!

I still had a couple of largish areas to address at the last point so I’ll pick up from there today. I had just started looking at the reflections on the rooves of the conservatories. Next I laid a very light grey across the frames of the windows as the entire front of the building was in slight shade and started to work down the smaller windows at the top of the side windows.


While actually painting on the rest of the piece, I’d been mulling over how I was going to address the central first floor window of the main building. I really wanted to give the impression of seeing through to the other side as in my original photo. I thought about marking out a grid of smaller windows which would be more true to the photo but I thought this would look too mechanical and I wanted more of a haphazard feel which suggested the light bouncing off or beaming through different panes. So I started to build up layers of the diluted slightly blue grey colour, leaving patches which each layer of paint and I’m really pleased with the result 😊


Next I started looking at the reflections and tones in the glass of the conservatories’ side windows and building it up in layers. Again, watercolours are perfect for recreating the qualities of light through glass. I also started to lay down some tones across the red brickwork to show the different forms and faces of the structure. I also addressed the shadow of the building that is cast across the path in front of the building.


The door at the front was still lacking any paint as was the door at the very side. There’s actually a very good reason for this: in all of my reference photos I didn’t have a clear view of either the main doors (it was half open in my own photo) or of the very sides of the building. You’ll remember in my first post that I made an extended drawing to imagine as best I could how the extreme sides would look. I always prefer to work from something I can see as it is extremely hard to truly imagine how something looks. So basically I was scared to address them 😂 But I had to at some point and the space was beginning to take my attention away from the rest of the painting.

I know the doors are a burgundy red so mixed up this colour which would also contrast nicely against the warmer red of the brickwork. Honestly, I had to make a guess at the colour of the second door on the right but I do know these buildings very well from all of the markets that I have attended there so plumbed for a wood door. At the point, I’m also starting to address details across the piece between layers of paint.

From here it was really a case of adding details and sharpening up the whole piece. In the photos below you can see the developments of details and how the tones of the red brickwork and doors build up. Finally, I also cleaned up some of the lines of the conservatories rooves against the darker backgrounds with very tiny touches of quite neat white paint, I only added enough water to make it slightly more fluid and workable.


And so, this is the final painting! I am very pleased with it although such a big piece was definitely a challenge! Here’s the whole painting, some details and a quick video tour over the whole painting (please ignore kids YouTube in the background 😂). I’ll remove it from the board and then we will need to get good quality scans made to be reproduced across the gifts boxes that this will be illustrating. Eventually it will be framed and hung in the foyer of the tea rooms themselves 😊 I have another piece that I’ve started planning for as this will be a slightly imagined view over Newport pulling together lots of landmarks. I’ll be posting updates of that painting too so do sign up for my news letters to receive notifications as well as 10% off my entire website :) 

I‘d love to know what you think as well so do pop a comment below or visit my Facebook or Instagram and leave a comment. Thanks  😊 





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