This is a painting commission from Saint Andrew’s Scottish Episcopal Church in St Andrews, Scotland. The assistant organist was leaving and the church wanted to give him a goodbye present of a painting of the church looking toward the organ with the senior organist sitting there.
Step 1: light pencil sketch
I was working from a photograph and took a very long time on the initial sketching stage.
Step 2: pen drawing
I traced over all the pencil lines with an archival pigment pen. For an architectural space so intricate, I needed to establish a vanishing point and painstakingly rule all the lines to fit in the grid.
Stage 3: final touches to under drawing
Stage 4: pale washes of watercolour
This was much easier than the drawing phase and I enjoyed a break from the painstaking and technically challenging architectural details. I used Winsor and Newton watercolours on a hot pressed Arches paper block.
Stage 5: darker washes
This is the stage where I start to delineate the lights from the shadows to creat a more 3 dimensional feel. The church is actually quite dark most of the time so I deliberately made the light stronger from the windows and brought out colours more vibrantly.
Stage 6: bold washes
Nearly finished now! In this step, I added the vivid pink-red of the pew cushions, the tan of the limestone all around the walls and strengthened the blue-green light coming through the side window. Now the illusion of depth is becoming more noticeable, since the foreground is bold and in focus, while the background is less detailed and bright.
Stage 7: final touches