I used the photo above as the starting point for the watercolour and gouache painting below:
I wasn’t thinking particularly heavily about how this might work as a print at the stage of painting. I was just trying out an arrangement and particular view of the shop. I liked that the whole shop was in view but felt a little bit sad to not be able to see anything inside the shop in more detail. I am however pleased with the colours of this painting, it adds to that slightly idyllic old world feel that the butchers has.
I wanted to try painting/sketching a closer view of the shop front so I then decided to try combining elements from the two photo’s below:
I thought I’d try some different techniques for this painting so it’s more of a mixed media thing; watercolour, pen, gouache paint, patterned paper, layered elements. See the results below:
You’ll notice the inside of the shop remains fairly empty again, this is me leaving it blank as I don’t have a good idea of how to draw what’s inside from memory. I aware this means I need to go into the store and ask to take some pictures inside. I am working up the courage to do this!
I tried to add in some more texture to the image by using patterned paper and the hatched affect on the building overhang. I think it works in that it creates texture but the black of the over hang is quite over bearing and distracts from the bright red shop front. However I am pleased with the position of the sign at the left hand side of the image, it gives a bit more clarity to foreground and background space.
I then thought about trying the image reversed and using some tissue paper’s to represent the idea of a chine colle/ linocut print. This led to working on a different painting:
Whilst I’m not happy enough with the painting above to use it as a final design it did help me clarify things and rethink my design.
Firstly I won’t be doing the masking tape thing, I had thought it might be an interesting mono print technique, but it just looks odd. The sky was supposed to represent an area printing using masks and mono printing. I think the clouds could work as a masked element but the tape is a no go! I was curious to see if using a tissue paper for the awning rather than a printed element would work. Seeing it in the painting helped me to see I don’t think it would be as effective as say a linocut effect.
But on the positive side of things I really like the tiles and think that tissue paper there would help soften those so they won’t look too dominant in a print. I also like how the brown tissue paper softens the overhang of the building. But I became acutely aware of the lack of balance in the right hand side of the picture. The horizon looks far too low, and there’s nothing to give any sense of placement of distance. This made me reconsider that part of the design and go back to the drawing board.
This is the result of a redesign:
I’ve kept this black and white to help me think about composition and texture without the distraction of colour. I’ve flipped the image back round to the left again as I think this is a more balanced view point. I’ve tried to add some features to create a mid point and more realistic horizon. Adding the bollards and expanding the road has really helped to break things up in the mid ground. The house and the fence help with the background actually being the background and give a better sense of scale of the shop. It’s not quite finished as I need to add in the tiles, but I’m much happier with the overall composition.
I think at this point it’s worth me mentioning I have become slightly fixated with the butchers shop and am more interested in doing four contrasting prints of just this one shop than the whole street. I need to get some close up in store shots to help me get a better design for the interior. I also want to start thinking about colour designs and different printing combinations.